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  • Dave Emery

New Beginnings Abound

We have entered yet another New Year. However, this year is different.

It is special because we expect we will have a new installed pastor in our church.

We look forward to leadership that will provide direction for our chosen priorities and be there for our ongoing pastoral care.

We can’t wait to see what will emerge. This is an exciting time. We will jo

yfully see how God guides us together.

The New Year always begins with the arrival of Epiphany. Epiphany is a time of insight and wisdom. This last Sunday we were reminded that “God has lavished upon us Wisdom and insight.”

When something dawns on us for the first time, we find ourselves experiencing an epiphany in our lives. We therefore see something new and important for us. We see the arrival of what may be an impactful and life changing awareness.

You might be interested in knowing that I was instructed in my life by very wise and learned teachers of faith that when an epiphany arrives, I am to be thankful to God for this event. I am to accept and embrace this occurrence and then I am to let it go in gratitude and praise.

I found this teaching contradictory to my expected way of behavior. I would expect to be called to act on my insight. I would expect that I would be motivated to follow such wisdom with action, and to implement the conclusions that arise from such an experience. However, I was taught to accept, embrace, and rejoice in such a realization for life, then let it go.

This coming Sunday we will be reminded that at the very beginning of Jesus ministry He was baptized by John. What is noteworthy is to consider that after He was baptized with others at the river, He was in prayer. While this was happening the voice of God came to those gathered there and proclaimed, “this is my Son in whom I am well pleased.”

Jesus was at the river. Jesus was baptized by John. Jesus responded in prayer. Jesus was declared unique, special, set apart by a voice coming from God. Jesus was already accepted and declared as the Son of God. Before He did anything, God was completely and totally pleased with Him.

It was not about His actions. It was not about His teachings. It was not about the miracles He performed. It was about who He was. It was immediately and solely about His being the very Son of God.

We are called to be God’s children as was declared last Sunday. We are called to witness to the light. As John says we are not the light, but we are to testify to the Light which has come into the world. So, we have seen the light and we are to shine for Christ in that light. We are to demonstrate to the nations that God has come and dwells in us.

Will you join me and your brothers and sisters in Christ in receiving this message? Will you join me in thanking God for this realization? Will you join me in praising God for this event of salvation and new life we have in Jesus Christ our Lord? Will you seek, find, and accept these occurrences of epiphanies? Will you rejoice and praise God for teaching, instructing, and giving us such amazing wisdom and insight in living a life of faith? Will you join me in this today and forever? Amen

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