Hogmanay, when one year gives birth to another and there is a place to leave behind those things that do not bring your humanity to a full in the old year to be born anew in a new year is human made. Yet it is filled with a sense of the spirituality for we need these rites of passage, these moments that enable us to face futures and possibilities and be renewed where we can take off a layer of old skin and feel new again, forgiven even.
These are spiritual times. they may not look particularly Christian wrapped up in first footing and spring cleaning, in out with the old and in with the new, with fireworks and the biggest street parties anywhere in the world. But it is.
Our need to be spiritual is expressed mainly in Christianity but not uniquely. These turning moments are more profoundly spiritual than a lot of what our religiousness offers. This is basic spirituality, basic renewal, forgiveness even resurrection: the offer of and invitation into something new. Indeed it is not just an invitation or a matter of belief but inevitable. These resurrection moments come and go all the time. What makes them significant is how we respond to them and pick up their opportunity for new life.
So from the darkest part of the year comes a 'pagan' and ancient festival of rebirth. It is as spiritual, hopeful and life affirming as our traditional faith and as necessary. Happy Hogmanay: may you take the time to pile up those things you want to leave behind and enter new life.