A Creed for the New Year
It’s like someone shook the world up.
That’s what the Farmer says that on day two of the new year, us looking out the window, us in this snow globe.
At noon, I swing a pot of steaming vegetables off the stove and the boiling water sloshes out over my hand. I run cold water over the burn and smile weakly at the Farmer.
After lunch, I read Shakespeare to the children with this bag of frozen beans on my hand. The phone rings. From the yellowed pages of an old copy of “Best Loved Poems” we read lines that rhyme. Levi scours shelves for an errant copy of Beowulf. The Farmer works through a stack of mail and bills and paperwork.
We click through the last 24 hours in pictures, find the location of each photograph on the globe. Levi looks for the book under the couch.
The snow keeps falling, heavy and white and everywhere in a world turned a bit upside down.
After science and weather systems, there are mitts and hats and sleds and hills behind the barn. The dog bounds ahead of the boys.
Levi let’s me ride down his sled. Shalom giggles and I throw my head back, flakes falling on cheeks. Is this the best way to ring in the New Year — with this laughter in the woods?
On the way back to the house, to the teapot and the bread, I recite it up through the fields in the deepening dark, the Jesus Creed — Jesus own Shema words, words Jesus spoke every single morning and night of His earthly life:
“The Lord our God, the Lord is One.
Love the Lord your God with all your Heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
Love your neighbor as yourself
There is no commandment greater than these.“
What I’ve been reading aloud to the kids, this Jesus Creed challenge we’ve taken up — to recite Jesus’ creed when we wake and when we sleep every day for a month — for year — isn’t this Jesus’ Creed, isn’t it the essence of koinonia: Communion with God. Community with God’s people.
What else is there?
Relationship is the essence of all reality. What else is eternal but love — to God and His people, relationship with God and God’s people? What can be shaken when we’re holding onto this?
I recite it again, Jesus’ Creed — a Creed for the New Year — recite it again going up-hill through the drifts, everything shaken and settled right down.