It is, at last, the final week of 2020.

I am typically someone who appreciates the clean-slate feeling of the turn of a New Year; the hope for charting a different course with intention and purpose. It always feels like a significant moment when we can lay to rest the trials and frustrations of a year-gone-by, and set our eyes on the new horizon of a new year filled with possibility.

This year, more than any other, I am eagerly anticipating that turn of the calendar page. We have endured much grief and heart-ache; much discouragement and fear; much antagonism and othering and isolation. This year, more than any other, it feels that we need fresh hope for a new existence—for deeper connection and collaboration; for the assurance of health and peace.

This Sunday, we celebrate the Epiphany, when the revelation of God’s presence on earth was made known to the Wise Men who praised and welcomed the Christ child. They had journeyed far from their home to greet this new hope come into the world, and our Gospel tells us they returned home by a different way. What God revealed to them in that encounter was a new plan for a new path of faithfulness; a way that discouraged violence and grew hope.

We have journeyed a great distance this year, and I pray for us, too, that our encounter with the Christ Child may redirect our path toward greater love and peace.

With blessings for us all this New Year,
Pastor Darin