The January Portal

2021 is here, and it’s already a winner, because it’s not 2020, right?

 So this weekend, before the new year really gets underway, we pause to remember, to prepare, and to refresh our spirits in this space between yesterday and tomorrow.

The ancient Romans, who had a god for everything, had a god for this in-between time, this ‘doorway’ between the past and the future. Janus, that two-faced god of endings and beginnings,  Janus, that liminal god of the darkened corridors between ‘then’ and ‘now’ is still with us.

We find evidence of the god’s presence right in our word ‘January,’ a month that begins by  looking backwards at what ‘was’, then peering forward at what ‘will be’, without ever really wondering what is. 

As we pause in the doorway of Janus’ waiting room between December and February, we might uncertainly wonder:  “After last year, am I ready for what comes next?”  For people of faith, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” 

We do not have to wait in the shadows with two-faced Janus, nor stumble blindly between the darkened doorways of our lives, because the good news of the gospel has already proclaimed that a new light has dawned: ‘the Kingdom of God has come near.’  This is the light of our faith.

In the light of faith:

we leave the darkened past for a brighter vision of a new heaven, a new earth, and a new Kingdom of light.

In the light of faith:

we reach forward to grasp what is ahead, pressing on towards the Kingdom of God that glows brighter and grows warmer before us.

In the light of faith:

we proclaim, along with the apostle Paul, that:

I give no thought to what lies behind, but I push on to what is ahead. My entire attention is on the finish line as I run towards the prize—the high calling of God in Christ Jesus

So,  welcome, friends, to 2021, the year of God’s blessing.  This year, 

May God bless you and keep you

May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you

May God look kindly upon you, and give you peace

Both today, and throughout the growing light of the coming year.


*Unless otherwise noted, all biblical citations are from:

The Inclusive Bible.  Lanham: Rowan and Littlefield Publishers Inc., 2009. 


“Mara at Midnight”

This moonless night As sightless stars dance blindly On this obsidian lake A solitary figure stands Motionless upon the shore Defiant Against the inexorable waves arrayed like armies on the surface of the waters Pulsing, moving in the futility of an eternal attack and retreat Endlessly advancing with wave upon wave of kinetic fury, andContinue reading ““Mara at Midnight””

Long Weekends, Cottage Traffic, and Family Memories: Who Can Detect Their Errors? Not Me, Apparently.

“As the cruiser lights flashed blue and red, I pulled over. Deep inside, I sensed my smug self-righteousness ebbing away, exposing a hollow anxiety. The worst part was wondering where I could have gone wrong, accompanied by a fear of undetected errors, hidden only from myself. I had tried so hard to do everything right,Continue reading “Long Weekends, Cottage Traffic, and Family Memories: Who Can Detect Their Errors? Not Me, Apparently.”

Money, Sex and Power

The Physicist Isaac Newton discovered our modern understanding of a ‘Force’ in natural physics. The Old Testament prince–Solomon the seventh son of King David–understood that, just like a force in the natural world of science, social forces like money, sex, and power do no stop until they face an equal or greater force that opposesContinue reading “Money, Sex and Power”

Published by

Doug is a writer, musician and educator living near Toronto, Canada. He writes about the sacredness of everyday experiences and about living a life of spiritual faith in the 'postmodern' 21st Century world. After a a 25-year career in education, Doug has been approved as a Candidate for Ordained Ministry in the United Church of Canada, a uniquely Canadian Protestant denomination in the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregationalist traditions. Doug is in essential agreement with the UCC statements on doctrine, which he sees as being in substance agreeable to the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. Opinions expressed on are his own.

%d bloggers like this: