Bishop Eric Menees
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! And a Blessed Epiphany to you all! Wow this is a seriously action packed first week in January! In fact the entire month of January is full of wonderful celebrations and Holy Days not captured in those three salutations. What are those Holy Days you ask? Well The Feast of the Presentation – also called Holy Name of Jesus – the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord – the Feast of the Confession of St. Peter and the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul! Phew I am tired just thinking about all of our celebrations.
What do all of these Feast Days represent for us as Anglican Christians? Brothers and Sisters they are not a call for us to do anything! They are a call to remember what God has done for us! They serve as a reminder that “God so loved the world that he sent his only son so that all who believe in him may have eternal life!” (To paraphrase John 3:16.)
Taking the time to slow down and remember what God has done for us is important – not just at Thanksgiving or Christmas or New Years but all the time. The church calendar gives us opportunity after opportunity to do just that – reflect on God’s love for us. Sadly as Americans statistics show that we don't slow down and reflect on our lives very well. Reports come out regularly stating how our lifestyles and work habits end up by raising our stress levels and along the way raise our blood pressure and disrupt our sleep cycles too.
We have a wonderful custom in the US and maybe around the world of making New Years Resolutions. I pray that you will join me in making a resolution this year to slow down and reflect more on what the Lord has done for us. Take the time to attend, and truly be present, for Sunday worship and Feast Days in the Church. Listen with an open heart and mind to what the Lord may be saying to you and to me – and then seek, with God’s help, to put that into practice.
My brothers and sisters I pray you a truly Blessed and Happy New Year!