I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas season! We are officially out of the Christmas season as the Wise Men finally got to Jesus on Epiphany, and now we are on to other things! I had some truly awe-inspiring moments over the holidays, and I hope you did too. They were awe-inspiring in both good and bad ways. I stood amazed in nature, at seeing a frozen waterfall while on a hike with my children. I felt completely helpless in other moments as things got too big or out of control. The Sundays of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day were both awe-inspiring moments for me, because looking at the calendar way back in the summer and realizing those two holidays were landing on Sundays I wondered if I and Dottie were going to be the only one here, but they were great celebration days. They were great ways to set our intention for the new year. I don’t usually do this, but I thought it would be nice to share the closing of my sermon from Sunday, January 1st, 2023. I am looking forward to walking alongside all of you in the New Year, and all that it brings:
One of the industries that have been pushing hard over the past couple of weeks is both the wellness industry and the fundraising industry. I have roughly 47 emails sent to me yesterday giving me ONE LAST CHANCE to give or to buy something.
There is a psychological trick behind that, the myth of scarcity and exclusivity. And as much as I know it isn’t true, it still works on me from time to time. It works, and so all industries use that myth for their own purposes. Churches use it too.
And within this there runs this vein of self-help, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, and addressing your issues head on. But I think back to Anne Lamott’s book, Help, Thanks, Wow. In it, she writes that these are the three prayers that we need. Help, Thanks, Wow.
Ask for help when we need it. Be present and grateful. And be filled with awe and wonder.
That is what today is, and this new year season is, and what this Wesleyan Covenant Is. It’s a new year. God is with us. We are forgiven, and we know Jesus.
When Moses is called to free the Israelites from slavery, he protests. He says he can’t speak well, he is of no importance, no one will listen to him, etc., etc., etc.… but God says, you have everything you need.
In 2023 there will be challenges. There will be heartbreak. There will be overwhelming moments of joy. There will be chaos. There will be peace. But as we prepare ourselves for it, God says, you are forgiven, and you have Jesus, we have everything we need.