Seventy-nine years ago this week, the 1.5 mile Lincoln Tunnel under the Hudson River was opened to traffic. Creative engineers constructed a safe path for travel under previously unpassable waters. For the first time, cars could drive from New Jersey and end up in New York City.
This bit of trivia caused me to reflect on other events we are experiencing here at the year’s end that mark a beginning and an ending and sometimes cause us to tunnel through to the other side.
Most folks will agree that the national election of 2016 was one of the most divisive in recent memory. And many will also agree they are very thankful that the election is over. As our country moves forward under new leadership many policies will end and new ones will be put in place. There will still be rough and tumble politics, but the uncertainty of who will lead the country for the next four years has been put to rest.
Did you notice that today we had one more minute of daylight than we did yesterday? The Winter Solstice was the divide between fall and winter and the shortest day of the year. Everyday has 24 hours, but from June to December in the northern hemisphere the daylight hours grow shorter and the nighttime hours longer. These days can be tough for those who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder. For all of us, longer hours of daylight will be a welcome relief signaling the arrival of spring.
Christmas marks the greatest divide in human history. God broke into history by sending Jesus into the world. No longer was God a distant creator but a flesh and blood Savior who bore the sins and hope of all mankind. The great divide between man and God was broken down. Light and love replaced death and darkness for all who put their faith in Him. May you find time this Christmas season to open your hearts to the light of God through his son, Jesus Christ.
“The people living in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned.” Matthew 4:16
On New Year’s Eve we will cross the divide from 2016 to 2017. Out with the old and in with the new. For some it is a lonely time as they remember the loss of family members and friends during the past year. I’m always glad for a fresh start and a new beginning. I resolve to make the next year better than the last—only to find my expectations don’t quite measure up to reality. My prayer is not just for a Happy New Year, but for a healthy, hopeful, and holy 365 days for each one of you.