Matthew 2:10 NRSV
When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.

Yes, it is a new year – but it also comes with a big question mark – doesn’t it? Many are asking, “is it really a new year, because it feels very much like an old one?” And then there is the anniversary of January 6th. Of course, I am referring to the anniversary of Epiphany when the wise men from the east traveled to the Christ Child. It’s our annual celebration of the time when Light attracted people to THE LIGHT. What did you think I was referring to?

It is clear to me that our recent past seems to often build the lens through which we see our future. But it does not have to be that way. We can decide to proactively be part of the Heavenly movement where light brought people to THE LIGHT so that they could then go share THE LIGHT in the dark without fear.

I always look for those places where the sacred and secular meet. The tension at those crossroads always provides insight to me and reminds me that as a Christian I am responsible for having one foot securely in both worlds. My shared task with Christ and all His followers is to bring those two worlds together as one.

It’s why I leaned into the secular tradition of New Year resolutions in my sermon on January 2nd. Like the wise men from the east, I proposed we all bring three gifts to the Christ Child as we begin a NEW YEAR. I invite you all to join with me in affirming our faith by resolving:

  1. to be messengers of the good news of Jesus Christ rather than conveyors of the bad news so common in our world today.
  2. to consistently watch for the movement of God in our lives like the wise men did so long ago and be willing to journey where His Light leads us.
  3. to start the new year by leaving the past in the past – forgiving as one forgiven – looking forward to a future glorifying God – together.

Those three gifts are totally in “your control.”
Will you bow down before Him – and give those three gifts to God?

Merry Christmas! & Happy Epiphany!
(Notice, there were no question marks in either of those.)