January 1

Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-13.

Ecclesiastes declares, “there’s a season for every time.” Yet, every New Year’s Day, I find myself feeling stuck between times. The previous year has ended, but the new year has barely begun. Christmas has passed, but Epiphany is still days away. The baby Jesus has been born, but he has not taken yet his first steps. We spend much of our lives in the liminal space between times. The time between graduating school and finding a job, meeting someone and falling in love, discerning what God is calling us to do and doing it. We often would rather rush to the next season or step than waste time in the in-between. After all, we are busy people with expiration dates, and we do not have time to waste. But what if the in-between times are a gift from God? What if God gave us in-between times to encourage us to pause? To pause, remember, and give thanks for all the blessings we have received. To pause, rest, and be present in the moment. To pause, hope, and pray for what lies ahead. How is God calling you to embrace the in-between times in your life?


Eternal God, who danced before the planets spun and time began, Merciful God, who looks graciously upon us in every season, Generous God, who gives us life and invites us to enjoy it, be present with us as we say goodbye to one year and enter the next. Teach us to pause, remind us to rejoice, encourage us to rest, and inspire us to hope, so that we may seek You always, even in the in-between times. Amen.

Emily Sutphin 


Princeton Theological Seminary

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