• Rev. Ho-Soon Han

The Gift of a New Year

Dear Family and Friends of Church on the Cape;

In the month of December, one of the things that made me filled with joy was receiving mail. Unlike other months, there’s always at least one form of mail that arrives in my mailbox. Christmas cards from people that remember us with special memories, thank you notes, and love-filled packages from my family in Korea, the gifts my family ordered for one another, etc. Just seeing the name and address on the label without knowing what it holds inside made my heart warm immediately. I’m sure you had a similar experience when you received the cards and packages delivered to you. No matter who they are from, when we open them, we always find some special ways they touch us; the selected words on the card and the thoughtfulness of the sender found in the gifts. The contents of the cards and packages may all be different, but the message is the same—we are loved.

I know cards and packages will stop coming in January or at least they will come not as often as December. However, the love that we received will be there for a long time. We may leave the cards on a table and take a look or read them once in a while. We may feel the warmth again or may find new meanings from the same words. We may cherish them even more as things are slowed down and we have little more time to digest the words with more space in our hearts. Whenever we use the gifts we received, we will think of the givers and their thoughtfulness. At least for a while, day after day, they will unfold the heart of love and bring us new joy. Naturally, they will fill our hearts with gratitude. And gratitude will lead us to do something, to give, to share, to be caring and thoughtful. This is a natural cycle for those whose lives are motivated by love and gratitude.

At the beginning of the New Year, there will be a big celebration on New Year’s Eve, a big parade on New Year’s Day, endless advertisements for New Year’s Day special sales, etc. We will have conversations about New Year’s resolutions, plans, and goals. Then at some point, things will calm down. We will hear less of the word “New Year” and life won’t be so new anymore. That’s when the true gift and blessing of the New Year are revealed one by one, because the gift of God in Christ Jesus is already given to us and finding the true meaning of the Gift and what it means to us in our lives is the ongoing task given to us again in the New Year. Day after day and month after month, we will discover a new and true meaning of the Gift and how to share it with others throughout the New Year. As we take off on our new journey in the year 2022, may we continue to be filled with love and gratitude and hope and courage to fulfill our mission as individual believers and as a community of faith.

Peace and Blessings, Ho-Soon