Back to Normal

Among my plans for tomorrow is to take down our Christmas tree. Jim and I like to hold on to Christmas decorations in the house as long as possible, but tomorrow is January 6 - Epiphany - and that to us is the day to put things "back to normal."

But, of course, once we've really celebrated Christmas, there is no "normal." If Christmas is a celebration of the presence of Christ in and among our human lives, well, then, every day after is meant to be open to the adventure of following Jesus in new ways, and being guided by the invisible light of his love, extended to us and to all.

The Christian season of Epiphany, which we'll observe on Sunday, helps us to do that. On Epiphany Sunday, we recall the story of the Magi, who sensed that they were to follow the Light of God's guidance in a whole new direction. And this Sunday we'll also hear the account of the Baptism of Jesus, that moment when he accepted God's call upon his life in a public, visible way, and demonstrated that the journey of repentance, receiving forgiveness, and recommitting to faithfulness and justice in God's Spirit is the journey to which we are called, too. Such a "baptized" life is more than
"normal" - it is continually transforming and being transformed.

On Sunday, we'll be "back to normal" in some ways - we will return to our three morning services at 8:15 in the Chapel, and 9:30 and 11:00 in the Sanctuary. The Christmas trees and Advent wreaths and banners that had been in our worship spaces will be gone. But we'll have clues as we worship that the Adventure is just beginning, and that life is much more than "normal." An extra candle here and there to remind us of the Light that shines in the darkness; celebrative banners that call us to keep living out our faith with joy and peace and love; and the Gifts of Christ in the bread and cup of Holy Communion that remind us he is with us, giving us new life for this day. 

A Joyous Epiphany to you!

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