What time is it? Who can say! History records that people through the ages have changed the time to suit themselves. Once there were only 10 months in the calendar year. The year began with the month of March. Some Roman Emperor decreed that two additional months be added to the calendar. He named them "Januarius" and "Februarius," and placed them at the end of the calendar year.
Roman society had a year-end custom which provided an opportunity for its citizens to meditate on the wrongs each had committed during the year past. Through a variety of rituals and ceremonies, people expressed their sorrow for past mistakes and wrong-doings. They sought to cleanse themselves of guilt and shame. Citizens sought to "februum" to "make themselves clean," an appropriate way to close out the old year and begin a new year! Emperor Julius Caesar, during his reign, moved January and February to the beginning of the calendar year, and so they remain until today. February remains an appropriate time to think about all that is wrong in one's life, and to "come clean"!
February is a great time to reflect on all that is wrong in our community, in our state and in our world -- time to begin, where we are to "clean up" the messiness of this old world. February is here! We must begin with ourselves. We have little control over what other people say and do; we have full control over what we say and do!
February allows us time to think about our mistakes and wrong-doings. We've said and done a lot of things we should not have said and done. We've failed to say and do those things we should have said and done. We need to "februum," to "clean up" our own life. February offers us time to be more caring, more forgiving and more aware of what we say and do.
February is the time to be honest with ourselves and confess our wrong-doing. Confession is good and cleanses the soul. Confession is a vital part of our relationship with the Almighty God as we confess our rebellious, sinful attitude toward Him.
February is a great time to "clean up" our community, local and worldwide. We can begin by tackling one or two issues that deeply concern us: the dishonesty and corruption we see in government, in business, in education, in organizations to which we belong; modeling respect for the sacredness of people and for the value of property; providing housing for the homeless and opportunities for the neglected; cleaning up the environment in our corner of the world. We can take responsibility for getting people to work together for the betterment of our entire community. We can make a positive difference when we believe that, working together, we can find a solution to community problems.
"Februarius" is an appropriate time to "come clean" in our personal lives and "to clean up" our community! So, let's get started! We have only 28 days!
Don Kuehle is a retired United Methodist minister who lives in Jackson. Opinions expressed are those of the author.Editorial on 02/01/2018
Print Headline: Februarius Is Time To Come Clean