Thursday, January 1, 2015

A New Year

On Friday morning, January 1, 1993, I buckled myself into my silver 1984 Volkswagen Quantum station wagon and began driving from Lebanon, Pennsylvania to Chicago. A couple of weeks earlier, my friend Charlie and I had loaded a bright yellow Hertz-Penske truck with my necessary possessions and delivered them to my new apartment in Hyde Park at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

My New Year's Day trip was solo. My car was loaded to capacity and I made the drive to Chicago with limited stops. I sipped coffee and nibbled on sunflower seeds along the way. By the time I was passing by Sandusky, Ohio, the floor of my car looked like the inside of a birdcage.

As I remember it was a cold day and I was anxious, afraid, and excited.

New beginnings are like that. Leaving behind the familiar, the comfortable, the well-known to encounter something new and unknown is daunting. Yet such an action is pregnant with possibility and potential.

As we all make this new beginning today with this new year, we have an opportunity to be intentional. The beginning of the Church year in Advent, the beginning of the season of Lent on Ash Wednesday, or days like today call us to consider evaluating where we have been and where we are called to go. God would like us to discern and decide. Finally, we get to act.

I'm looking forward to this new year. I believe God is calling us into action. And we will need to be intentional, proactive, and bold.

Meanwhile, our duty and delight of worshipping God is before us. I encourage you to resolve to deepen your commitment to regular (weekly) worship, daily prayer, and Bible reading. All of us have a responsibility to one another to do our best. We are in this together. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

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Second Sunday of Christmas
January 4, 2015

Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, you have filled all the earth with the light of your incarnate Word. By your grace empower us to reflect your light in all that we do, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Jeremiah 31:7–14
Psalm 147:12–20
Ephesians 1:3–14
John 1:[1–9] 10–18

The Epiphany of our Lord
January 6, 2015
(Epiphany Candlelight Vespers will be held at 7:00 PM)

Prayer of the Day
O God, on this day you revealed your Son to the nations by the leading of a star. Lead us now by faith to know your presence in our lives, and bring us at last to the full vision of your glory, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Isaiah 60:1–6
Psalm 72:1–7, 10–14
Ephesians 3:1–12
Matthew 2:1–12

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