Do you like giving gifts or getting gifts better? Do you have an all-time favorite gift that you received? Do you have an all-time favorite gift you have given? Wrapped up, surprises or not, gifts are wonderful.
As we come into January, we are still in the 12 days of Christmas. You may still be trying out our new Christmas gifts. The wise men who traveled great distances to offer their gifts to the newborn Christ-child were responding to the gift first given to them. They received God’s gift: a sign, a call, a welcome – the star, and then the greatest gift: the Christ child. In response, they offered their gifts. The wise men brought Jesus gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
As we step into this New Year, we will commemorate the arrival of the wise men and remember their offerings. We will celebrate Epiphany and receive Epiphany stars, a simple star with a word for the year. This is a way to enter the New Year on the lookout for God’s gifts, claiming and naming God’s generosity and activity in our world, in our church and in our lives. Do you wonder what God will bring you this New Year? Do you wonder what God will bring us as a congregation? Do you wonder what we might bring to our neighbors and our community? What could we offer that would be received as a treasure and as a fragrant offering?
Like any other gift, God’s gifts can be received with joy, discarded, or forgotten. We need to be intentional about our response to God’s gifts, signs and this New Year. Will we consider this new month, this New Year, as an opportunity, a chance to reflect on how God speaks to God’s people? What new ideas might evolve, what treasured wisdom might resurface? What signs might we follow to get closer to Jesus?
Epiphany is the celebration of God’s presence breaking through to shine as a light to the darkness. January is going to be a month full of God’s presence and light shining as we celebrate Epiphany in a new and meaningful way – as we hear about the importance of journey, as we remember our Baptism, as we install and reinstall our leaders, as we gather for our annual meeting to celebrate all the ways God did ministry through KPC in 2018, and as we lean into this new year full of new gifts to give and receive.
January will be a month of gifts given and gifts received. Let’s unwrap and give God thanks as we travel into this New Year by a new way together as God’s people at KPC.
Thank you so much! I want to express my deep gratitude for your marking our 5th Anniversary. Your card, kind words and generous gift were such a surprise and such a blessing. It is my honor and privilege to be your pastor and do ministry alongside each of you. I am encouraged, excited and hopeful about coming years. I know they will continue to give glory to God!