Dec 29, 2009

New Year Greetings

“Happy New Year—and Let’s Make the Best of IT!!!”

A New Year affords us something that we all crave and probably need, the ability to start over. We receive a great blessing when we start over. Starting again means that all those mistakes from which we were supposed to learn something now allow us to put our learning to the test. So here we are at the beginning of 2010. We stare down a new year and hope for the best.

We are ready this Sunday to bring in a new year and a new sermon/worship Epiphany series that is entitled “What if . . . ?” Our text from the New Testament will be Ephesians 3:1-12.

A New Year image I like best is a picture of two calendars side by side: the old and the new. One is tattered and torn. Covered by coffee spills, smudgy finger-prints, and ink smeared writing. An old calendar can only be deciphered by perhaps a graphologist-type pharmacist. The old calendar represents commitments made and kept. It is a symbol of the things that we have deemed important and notes the priorities of our past year. It is like a doll whose head is worn threadbare by its loving owner.

On the other side—and set beside the old calendar—is the new calendar. Clean and crisp, with no embarrassing markings to tattle out our organizational skills or lack thereof. The new calendar represents the opportunities that await us and the chance to use our time more wisely in the pursuit of life as we want to live it—and perhaps more importantly—as God calls us to live it.

Although many of us now use electronic datebooks for daily or weekly schedules, the old images of paper calendars remains compelling. May we begin 2010 with a new slate and forget our last year’s melancholy. 2010 must be an improvement and is a year of hope for us all—thanks to God and God’s providence.

Our lessons for Epiphany of the Lord are:

Hebrew Scripture text: Isaiah 60:1-6
Reading from the Psalter: Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14
Epistle (or Letter) lesson: Ephesians 3:1-12
The Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12



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