I bet you guessed I'd use this picture...it's here for illustrative purposes only and in no way is intended to impinge on the copyrights of Sesame Street, the Muppets, PBS, or related entities.
It is not that I, or any of my colleagues, dislikes the joy and opportunity heralded by the coming of the new year. Rather, the panic that may grip us has to do with our sense of preparedness: are we truly ready to confront the awe and splendor of these sacred days? Have we got our heads and our hearts in the proper place to address our needs for the coming year, let alone to help shepherd our congregation (who will likely turn out in the largest numbers we'll see all year) through the careful balance of celebration and contrition that befits this season?
I know that I still have sermon writing and the preparation of liturgical cues ahead of me, in addition to personal reflection and introspection.
I'm looking forward to being with the congregation. I'm looking forward to apples and honey, and spiritual uplift.
So yes, I'm counting down.
But could we count a little slower, please?