St. Matthew's Episcopal

Holy Name Day

Posted on: January 2nd, 2017 by Robin Jarrell


I will continue my practice of summarizing the sermon for the previous Sunday because in these turbulent times, it is important to keep the Good News ever before us.

Well, it’s January 1st – New Years Day – and we have a goodly number of folks right here in the pews at St. Matthew’s.  For the world at large, this is a significant marker of days – we celebrate, we change the number of the year, we make resolutions, we eat cultural food like black eyed peas, or sauerkraut that is meant to bring us health and prosperity for the next 365 days. This is how our culture marks the time.  Which causes me, as a Christian to ask:  how do Christians mark time?

I have often found it ironic that our culture uses a calendar that was invented by the adopted father (Julius Caesar) of the guy who was the emperor (Caesar Augustus) that Luke tells us made Joseph and Mary go register for a tax.  Not to mention the talking over of Israel.  At any rate, our church year has already begun – it started the first Sunday in Advent.  And, as important as cultural marking days can be, they bind us to another way of aligning ourselves with a sense of time that is sometimes very different from the Time that God has in mind for us.  The writer Annie Dillard once said that the way we spend our days is the way we spend our lives.  One tiny increment of a day adds up.  So, if you were to look at the increment of my day, I’m afraid you’d see that it was spent in lamenting the future by posting on Facebook, instead of living out the promise of Advent into the light of Christmas.

Many scientists tell us that time is a construct, created by humans to make sense of how we experience life.  For any given date on our cultural calendar, there is parallel world that we can participate in, a world of Saints and feast days, seasons of grace and God’s love, times of preparing to know God more fully, and an entire year filled with walking the Way of Jesus.

This year, more than ever, I encourage us all – not to throw away our appointment books – but to allow ourselves to become part of GodTime.  And help one another celebrate the love of God With Us not just during Christmas, but for all the time to come.





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