Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Three Challenges for the New Year

I have three challenges to offer to The Church of the Holy Trinity, North Augusta:
1.      That all our activities and programs as a church family this year be intentional about bringing others into a life-changing relationship with Jesus and growing us all in Christ-like character.

2.      That this church family continue to be a place where we (and others yet outside this fellowship) learn to fully submit to the good and perfect will of God for our lives.  Until we lay before God the brokenness in our lives that has come upon us simply by living in this world, until we confess the weakness of our own flesh to cling to our brokenness and dysfunction, until we renounce the things in our lives that are clearly under the influence of the Evil One, our transformation into Christ-likeness and appropriation of the Christian virtues are going to be hindered. 

3.      That we live ever more fully into the blessings that are to be found in our communion with God and with each other.
Father Rob


        The church celebrates seven principle ‘feasts’ throughout the year.  One of them occurs this month known as The Feast of the Epiphany (Jan. 6).  Being part of a Church that is 2000 years old, we have inherited a lot of older language, such as the word ‘feast.’  Today we would perhaps use a word like ‘celebration,’ to designate these special and meaningful observances.  The word ‘Epiphany’ means ‘manifestation’ or ‘appearance.’  Epiphany is celebrated at the close of the 12 days of Christmas and celebrates the arrival of the Magi (The Three Wise Men) at Bethlehem.  Since it is a feast that normally does not occur on a Sunday, we tend to include the coming of the Magi in with our Christmas celebration.
         The Feast of the Epiphany also ushers in The Season of Epiphany.  This season provides us a bridge from the Advent-Christmas Season to the Lent-Easter Season.  During Epiphany, we explore scripturally and liturgically the theme of Christ being made ‘manifest’ to the world.