January 13, 2023 

Dear St. Mark’s, 

I went to the wedding of a beloved friend last weekend. She and her now husband are starting a new life together. It was lovely to witness them intentionally set forth on this journey. They were making promises about how they want to live together and the kind of life they want to have as they say, “I will.” 

The night before the wedding, a friend I went to Seminary with welcomed a long-awaited child into the world. This baby is a newborn; he is beginning his life. So, while my friend is in the middle of his life, he is at the onset of his life as a father. It’s a new start in many ways. 

Many of us make new year resolutions. We long for a new life. We tend to think, ‘this is the day the first of the year when things are going to be different.’ But, alas, many of us have messed up with these goals by this second week in January.  

But there is good news. God is always inviting us into renewal. We don’t have to wait for the New Year, or Monday, or even tomorrow morning. Nothing is standing in our way. Starting again can be as soon as this next breath.  

Ruach (pronounced roo-akh) is the English spelling of the Hebrew word meaning breath, wind, or spirit. This is the word used in Genesis 1:1 in the poetic description of the beginning of the world. It’s used several times in the Old Testament. Pneuma is a Greek word that means breath, spirit, and Holy Spirit. It is used frequently when the languages switch in the New Testament.  

So, you might feel called to start again this week and going forward. You might consider that your life is taking a new path. You might want to make a new promise to yourself or to someone you love. If and when that happens, I have some ideas to consider. 

1. Take a breath. 
2. Remember this beginning. 
3. Think of the Spirit that surrounds you. 
4. Go forth and begin (again). 

Yours faithfully,
Deacon Joy