Formation Fridays: New Year
Once again, we have turned the last page of our calendars to ring in the new year. Many have packed up Christmas in order to clear space for writing resolutions. Yet, according to our Christian calendar, Christmas did not end on December 25th.
Starting on December 26th, we entered into the 12 days of Christmas which ends on January 6th with the feast of Epiphany. In the Western church, these 12 days traditionally celebrate the visit of the magi from the East. The Eastern church celebrates Epiphany with the observance of the baptism of Jesus, and the revelation of the Trinity.
By entering into the season of Epiphany, these celebrations remind us that the Incarnation was not just a single event, in a single place, for a single people. When God entered the world as flesh, the Creator entering into creation as creature, it was all because of love for all people, all creation, for all of time.
Isaiah 43 reminds of us of this theme, God’s vision to gather and redeem all of creation, and gives us hope for the new life being resurrected within and around us. “Look! I’m doing a new thing; now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it? I’m making a way in the desert, paths in the wilderness.” (vs. 19, CEB)
Sprouts are small, sometimes unnoticed, but evidence of new life. And it has often been through the desert and wilderness, the dry, untamed, foreign places, where God miraculously sprouted love to be experienced and known. This scripture gives me hope for the new year, a new season, and a reminder of God’s faithfulness and mission for the world, for Sherwood, and our surrounding communities.
As we begin this new year, 2018 —The Year of Love, we invite you to consider the “new thing” God is doing in your life, your family, your community, and the world.
Do you see it sprouting up? Do you recognize it?
Hope and Love,