Well, they are certainly stacking up. Before these, there were all of the catalogs and sales flyers stacking up.  They haven’t stopped, but there are fewer and fewer every day, but now another stack has begun— layers and layers of them ! I’m talking about Top Lists: TOP TEN LISTS, TOP TWENTY LISTS.  Tops Lists for the Worst and Best: in dress, in songs, in stories of victory or defeat, in movies, in actors/actresses.  I even found The Top 10 Top 10 Lists of 2012.

One list that stands out in my mind as this year comes to a close is The Top 26 List: 20 Children:  Charlotte, Daniel, Olivia, Josephine, Ana, Dylan, Madeleine, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, James, Grace, Emilie, Jack, Noah, Caroline, Jessica, Aveille, Benjamin and Allison.  6 Adults:  Rachel, Dawn, Anne, Lauren, Mary, and Victoria.

Recently when I saw the movie, The Hobbit, there is a scene in which Gandolf the Wizard speaks a word about the great depth of loss and tragedy that has come to the Dwarves upon the loss their homeland.  Gandalf says,  “Our deaths were beyond the count of grief!”

As we (that’s you and me) sit a spell on Sinner’s Row, let’s end 2012 with confession and with new resolve:

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed by what we have done, and what we have left undone.  (from The Book of Common Prayer)


Merciful God, we confess that we have not loved you with our whole heart.  We have failed to be an obedient church.  We have not done your will, we have broken your law, we have rebelled against your love, we have not loved our neighbors, and we have not heard the cry of the needy.  Forgive us, we pray.  Free us for joyful obedience, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. (from The United Methodist Hymnal)

Hear the good news: Christ died for us while we were yet sinners; that proves God’s love for us. In the name of Christ, you [and I] are forgiven!