I remember saying around Thanksgiving that Christmas and New Year’s would come and go in the blink of an eye. Well, here we are! 2015! I had a restful New Year’s Day, including black-eyed peas, some football, a good movie, and a walk around the Lake. Hope your day was good, too!
Didn’t we have a wonderful December at First Church? Many thanks to all who contributed their time and talents, decorating, planning, leading worship, playing music, preparing communion, serving in various capacities. It takes many people to plan and prepare for all the services and programs.
This Sunday as we move into a new year we’ll observe Epiphany Sunday. Epiphany is one of the three oldest celebrations of the church, along with Easter and Pentecost—so it’s older than Christmas! We will hear the traditional Epiphany story of the coming of the Magi or Wise Men to visit the child. It is Luke that gives us the story of the stable, the shepherds, and the angels, which we heard on Christmas Eve. And it is Luke that gave us the story of the infant Jesus with his parents in the temple, when Simeon and Anna recognized who he truly was, which we heard last Sunday. So this week we turn to Matthew for the story of the Magi and the star.
We’ll consider who those strangers “from the East” were, why they took on a great journey, and what they did once they found the Christ Child. And we’ll ponder what the story says to us, standing here, as we are, in the doorway of a new year.
We’ll close the traditional services on Sunday with the hymn This Is a Day of New Beginnings. I think it’s a most appropriate hymn to sing as we look to 2015, and the verse below calls us to follow Christ into the new year with “great expectations” for what God will do in and through First Church in 2015:
Christ is alive and goes before us, to show and share what love can do.
This is a day of new beginnings; our God is making all things new.
See you Sunday at the “great expectations” place!