Pastor Julie’s Message for January 2016

In Wonder of the New

It is that time of year again when we start fresh.  We reflect on what the last year has meant to us and also what it has brought us.  We think about the ways that the year has challenged us, with change, illness, struggles, and all of the rest.  We also think about our blessings, the moments in time when we experienced joy, the treasured moments, and God’s presence in our lives.  Finally, we turn to what is to come, the new.

Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet?  My list always seems to start the same way every year.  I always resolve to get healthier.  What does it mean that it’s on my list year after year?  I know the answer, yet it is a frustration year after year…  What does it take to change?  What can help us besides all of the technology that is out there?

This year, we can turn to our Gospel readings throughout the month of January.   First, we encounter the Word becoming flesh and living among us.  Then we learn that Jesus is baptized and begins his path in ministry.  Jesus attends the Wedding at Cana and performs his first miracle or sign that points to the abundance of God’s grace, mercy, and love.  Jesus preaches in the temple and claims his identity and announces the shape and form of his ministry.  Of course, this stirs up a ruckus for those who like the status quo and don’t want to embrace the new.

Jesus claims his ministry that truly begins after he is baptized.  On January 10, we will celebrate the Baptism of our Lord with the baptism of little Oliver, which will be a joyous occasion for all of us.  Can we use this opportunity to remember our own baptism and what happens in, with and under the water?  We are made new through the water.  We can begin again, perhaps on a new path in ministry.  The question that I ask you to ponder is, “What shape will your ministry take in the next year?”  Be mindful and pray on this question.

I invite you to worship every Sunday to explore the new in your life.

Happy new you,

Pastor Julie

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