Rolling Up Our Sleeves
The crèches have been packed away, the beautiful decorations that adorned the church during Christmas have been taken down, and we have entered once again into what the Church calls “Ordinary Time.” We are in a transitional period – no longer “the holidays” and not yet Lent – and, on the one hand, it is a time replete with promise and hope for the year ahead. Yet it also can be a challenging time for those who struggle with the cold weather and with the shorter (albeit lengthening!) days. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real phenomenon, and I find that many folks have difficulty during these winter months mustering the energy and motivation to do more than the absolute essentials. The temptation to hunker down and hibernate at home is strong – which is why we must resist inertia!
I like to call this time of year in the Church the “roll up our sleeves” season, a perfect time to explore the ways in which God is calling each of us uniquely to minister in the world. This week we will observe the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord, which in Matthew’s Gospel takes place at the outset of Jesus’s public ministry. In His baptism, Jesus is affirmed in His identity as Beloved Son of God, which seems a necessary prerequisite as He sets out to teach and preach and heal. At this time of year we, too, are reminded of our primary identities as God’s beloved children, and we are equipped to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ according to the gifts God has given us. This is an exciting season in the life of the Church, and it is a perfect time for each of us to reflect on how we might live out our discipleship in new ways.
This coming Sunday, January 12, your Vestry and I will host an all-parish “Town Meeting” immediately after worship to reflect on where we are as a congregation during this transitional period in our life together. We envision this as a timely opportunity to pray and think and talk about where we see God moving in our midst and how we might be called – both individually and collectively – to live in response. I hope that you will plan to join us for this important gathering.
Your Sister in Christ,