January is a very hopeful month for it is a time for us to look forward to the year ahead and even beyond. The days lengthen, and our new year's resolutions fill us with determination to do better with the things of last year and to be creative in the months ahead.
What's more, the Christmas feast has reaffirmed our identity as brothers and sisters of the Prince of Peace, as daughters and sons of the highest God. That is really who we are.
So much of the last month's celebrations have been about confirming bonds of friendship by the giving and receiving of presents. Our families have been strengthened by the meals that we have shared and the parties that we have enjoyed. But underlying these has been an affirmation of what it means to be a Christian. And now the fuss is over and the decorations have come down, we can pause and think about what really matters.
Our value as human beings is not measured by the size of the gifts we exchanged, or the amount of alcohol we consumed, but by our loving relationships – not just with those we know intimately but with people who are outside the warmth of our families. You know who I mean: refugees, the homeless, the rough sleepers, and our neighbours who rely on food banks. Now Christmas is over, their need will be greater, so don't forget them. They too are God's children. Let us share our hope for the coming year with them.