Once the excitement of New Year’s wears off, January is my least favorite month. There’s something dreary about the month that is “always winter but never Christmas,” even in years like this one where we get generous portions of sunshine and 70-degree afternoons. I tend to think of January in a word: depressing.
I think it’s no coincidence that January is where we find the season of Epiphany: it’s the celebration of God made manifest to his broken creation, the celebration of Christ as the True Light of the World. Epiphany is exactly what we need in this month.
At church on Sunday, we read the story of the disciples “forgetting to bring bread” when they are out on a boat with Jesus. Our pastor pointed out the absurdity of this situation: How could they worry about not having bread when they’re in the company of the Bread of Life?
It’s the same short-sightedness that makes me fret over the darkness of January.
The twinkle lights may be packed away in the attic for another year.
The cold may keep us tucked indoors for a few days.
The 600 days of January may creep by slowly, uninterrupted by holiday hoopla.
I may suffer disappointment as my resolution-energy fades and I come to terms with the fact that this may not be my year of perfection.
But there’s no darkness to fear when I know the True Light.
I’m trying to take back January this year. I’m looking for light, looking for beauty, looking for joy. I’m trusting that if I seek, I will find.
I have candles.
I have music.
I have my gift list.
I have my camera.
Who says there are no reasons to celebrate in January? Not I, not anymore.