Happy Almost New Year!

A Weekly Reflection, Sunday, November 26, 2017

By: Andrew Moore, Associate Rector

Happy Almost New Year!

This Sunday, the last Sunday after Pentecost, is like the New Year’s Eve of the church year.  We are wrapping up our annual journey through the stories of Jesus’ life and ministry.  Next Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent, we begin anew.  We anticipate and prepare to celebrate Jesus’ incarnation at Christmas.  We celebrate his baptism and the calling of his disciples in the season of Epiphany.  We walk the road to the cross with him during Lent and Holy Week.  We celebrate his miraculous and redemptive resurrection and ascension in the Easter season.  We welcome the Holy Spirit’s coming into the world at Pentecost and Jesus’ remarkable ministry in the weeks that follow.

I find the cycles of our church year and its attendant Lectionary readings to be a helpful way of remaining grounded in my life as a follower of Jesus.  No matter what happens in my life, in my community, in the world, over the course of a year there is one thing that remains constant:  Jesus and the stories we share about his life and work.

I may change over the course of a year (and I certainly hope that I do!).  The ways that I hear the stories of Jesus may change.  I often find new insights or new details jump out at me when I hear the stories again.  But the stories themselves do not change.  They are a constant reminder of God’s love and God’s presence in our lives.

It’s been quite a year, in my life and in the life of St. Mary’s.  At this time last year I was just beginning to have conversations with Weezie and discern how God might be calling me to St. Mary’s.  And now, as a community, we are beginning to discern who God might be leading to us as a new rector.  A lot has gone on in our lives, in the life of our community, our nation, our world.

So next week, as we begin the cycle over again, I invite you to hear anew the stories of anticipation, of celebration, of challenge in our faith.  I invite you to open your hearts to the remarkably Good News that God loves us, cherishes us, so much that he entered the world to walk alongside us.  I invite you to listen, to really listen, to the stories of Jesus and his encounters with the world.

It’s an awesome and awe-inspiring story.  And I’m so grateful that I get to hear it again this year with all of you.