February 2019   
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Rector's Msg.


You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:8

We are entering a new calendar year and yet as Anglicans we are already well into our new year. Our Liturgical Year began on the first Sunday in Advent, when we entered the season of waiting for the coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas and for His Second Coming in glory. The calendar year holds hope as well. Perhaps 2019 will be better than the year before. Perhaps I’ll finally get to the gym regularly. Perhaps I will finally get organized.

These two turns of the year are similar, but different. Advent has at its very core a fundamental difference from the New Year holiday. In the wait for the coming of Jesus we see that we are not looking forward to changing ourselves and our outcomes for the approaching year, but that we are awaiting help from the outside. The story of Advent is not so much Horatio Alger but rather Church Norris, where a hero needs to break in and set prisoners free. Therefore, the first difference is that in our New Year’s resolutions the hero is often us, more determined, more self-controlled, where in Advent, the hero is Jesus Christ.

Secondly, the nature of the hope is often different. Many New Year’s hopes revolve around changes in life that will improve our circumstances but that are subject to the normal vicissitudes of life. I might work on getting healthy but get diagnosed with cancer. The hope of Advent is one that might not actually change our life right now very much. We might have the same job, struggle to get into the same pants, and have difficulty with the same family members. But the hope of Advent is that we have a God who has come to be with us. He has offered us forgiveness and life in His name and this world cannot remove the hope that has been implanted in our hearts. Ultimately, Advent reminds us that there will come a day when the changes that have taken place in our life will make all the difference in the world. Jesus Christ will come back to fulfill the hopes of Advent, and we will be taken to be with Him for eternity.

Although these two new years are stacked close to one another, they offer very different visions of the future. While the turning of the calendar year is less significant than the story, which begins and ends with Advent, the goals are still important and valid. It is good to work on our health, planning, friendships, and all those other things we make resolutions about. In addition, it is good to prepare for the changes, which Advent asks of us, changes in priorities, prayer, devotion, and worldview. By the grace of God may these two new years draw us closer to the Lord and prepare us for His return.
In Christ,

New Year ❅ Coming into the Resolutions ❅ Hope ❅ Change ❅ Cold ❅ Cycles


In Christ,