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Do Over - Monday Musing, December 28, 2020

Dear Church,

Do Over. A do over is defined as “a new attempt or opportunity to do something after a previous attempt has been unsuccessful or unsatisfactory.” I awoke from a dream at three-o’clock last Monday morning and wrote the words, Do Over, on a pad of paper I keep on my nightstand. I woke from a vivid dream in which I was driving my car, turning left onto what I thought was the passing lane of a divided highway, when it was the driving lane of a double-lane road!

In my dream, I was hit broadside by another vehicle I neglected to look for. As I now stood in the intersection, I watched in slow-motion where the wrecked cars would come to a dramatic stop. It was a horrific scene; it’s as if I had seen this accident before, thus knowing where the cars would land. Had I seen the image of a car accident in the weekend newspaper? I knew I was dreaming – so why was I dreaming about dreaming? In my message on the fourth Sunday of Advent the day before, I mentioned that Mary must have been dreaming about the annunciation since she so calmly and obediently responded to the angel Gabriel, “Let it be with me according to your word.” I suggested that Mary was dreaming because an excited, “I can’t believe what is happening to me!” response does not make for a good Christmas story. Perhaps I was dreaming because in my homily at Dot Walters’ memorial service just the day before, I had used the text from Genesis 32 as the basis of my message – in a dream Jacob wrestles with God at Peniel.

But when I woke, I wrote the note, Do Over, not dreaming – why? Well, today is the last Monday of 2020, and this year has been a wreck of a year (no pun intended!) because of the global pandemic. Maybe my dream was meant to highlight the fact that 2020 is o-v-e-r? We certainly can’t go back and do 2020 over again. (As if! – there is no guarantee a new 2020 would be COVID-19-free, so let’s not chance it!). Yes, this has been a humdinger of a year. I don’t know about you, but this Thursday night I will gleefully sing, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?” And stop right there. Good riddance 2020, you are over, thank God!

So, if 2020 is over, what shall we do in the coming year? While coronavirus vaccines have been released, we are a long way before COVID-19 is over. We have a whole lot to do between now and then. How about we resolve to not see 2020 as the horrific car crash that we vividly see in our dreams. How about we resolve to celebrate this new ministry that we have begun together, despite the fact it has been an odd seven-months (masked, physically distanced, no touching). Perchance we might not lament the bad year past, but acknowledge that this year has given us the opportunity to experience God’s saving love in a different way than we ever have before. I am not dreaming as I type these words, so let’s leave it at that.

Oh, and for those of you who drive, check both ways – twice – looking for other vehicles, and please be safe on the road. I am off this week, so I will see you next week. Happy New Year!




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