Here it is, the Monday before another new year. Maybe it’s because today is a cold, gray, windy day, maybe it’s the news of two more senseless acts of violence that have been added to the list that is already too long or maybe it’s the combination of the two, but, for some reason, the opening words of Simon and Garfunkel’s A Hazy Shade of Winter have been replaying in my head since I got up this morning.
Time, time, see what’s become of me
While I looked around for my possibilities
I was so hard to please
Don’t look around
The leaves are brown
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter
So much of what’s happened in the year that’s drawing to a close makes it hard to look past the brown leaves that litter the ground and the gray and hazy winter skies that seem like they might never end. But, the song doesn’t leave us with just despair, it offers this encouragement:
Hang on to your hopes, my friend
That's an easy thing to say
But if your hopes should pass away
Simply pretend that you can build them again
The grass is high
The fields are ripe
These words of hope echo what the prophet Isaiah told the people of Jerusalem long ago – “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you…Lift up your eyes and look around…Then you shall see and be radiant, your heart shall thrill and rejoice.”
It’s a reminder that we are not living in the hazy shade of winter, we are living in the season of Christmastide – the season when we rejoice because the promise of hope, joy, peace and love have been fulfilled in the birth of the one they named Jesus.
Mark is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and is currently serving as the Associate Pastor of Caring Ministries here at Saint Andrew Christian Church. Mark can be reached at email@example.com.