On Epiphany, Jan 6, the church celebrates the arrival of the magi bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. In this ordinary child too small yet to journey back to Jerusalem God reveals his extraordinary love and grace for the world. The infinite God becomes the finite human Jesus. Throughout the season after the Epiphany we hear the stories of God’s extraordinary grace manifested in the ordinariness of our lives.
On New Year’s Day we often make resolutions for the year ahead. We resolve to be healthier by eating fewer sweets and more veggies, join a gym or yoga studio, or start a walking or running routine in preparation for a 5K or 10K race later in the year. We resolve to read more and watch less TV. We resolve to stay connected more with friends and make new connec- tions through volunteer opportunities. And sometimes we actually follow through on those resolutions.
The Sunday after the Epiphany, Jan 13, the church celebrates The Baptism of Our Lord, and at Our Savior we celebrate and bless all those who were baptized in the previous year. They, and we, are reminded of the promises we make to God and the body of Christ, the church, to live among God’s people, hear God’s word and share in the Lord’s Supper, proclaim the gospel in word and deed, serve the needs of all people, and work for justice and peace.
What would it be like if we combined all three in our “new life” of 2019? In your goal to read more could that include a book study at church with a friend in which you discover the extraordinary grace of God in the ordinary pages of a book? Could partnering with a friend from church or another member of Christ’s body to train for that race be a way you “live among God’s faithful people” as you discover grace and joy while pounding the pavement over the miles? Could you share the healthier meals you are now making with those we feed on Tuesdays at My Father’s House or make it here for the homeless men we will be hosting for the Interfaith Homeless Outreach Council of Camden the last week of February and first week of March? This January I invite you to explore how you might incorporate the lifestyle of faith we all promise to live when affirming our Baptism into the resolutions we make for 2019 and in the process of living them out discover how God’s extraordinary love, grace, and joy are revealed in those simple, ordinary actions. Happy New Year!