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Happy New Year! Four years ago I preached a sermon at the beginning of 2020 in which I thought I rather cleverly inserted a note to the effect that “with God being our help we can walk into the New Year and into this Epiphany Season of Light with 2020 vision.”  Haha, several months later the pandemic began; oh well, you live and learn.

We might not be able to predict with clarity what lies in front of us in 2024 but we can be sure about one thing, the commitment of God to be present to us in a deeper way than we could ever imagine, through thick and thin.  And we can be sure of the commitments we make in light of God’s overwhelming gifts.  As Anglicans we express those commitments most clearly in our Baptismal Covenant.  See the following link and turn to pp. 158-59 to read it.  Since we start Epiphany season with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, I thought it might be appropriate to briefly look at this document over the next six week in the “From Allen’s Desk” section of our newsletter.

The six commitments we make follow recitation of the Apostle’s Creed which gives us the story of the grand gift given to us in Jesus Christ.  We respond by asking God to help us image this gift to the world in six different ways. 

The first commitment is to "continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers.”

We promise to hold to what those who had been in Jesus’ presence from the earliest times taught as most important.  By so doing we not only commune with each other and God but with them as well.  The Church is literally the oldest organization on earth held together by our common commitments and practices.  By sharing the Eucharist together, reading the ancient stories together and listening for fresh wisdom from such, we are learning from Peter, John, Paul, Mary and Johanna and others who witnessed the events that changed and continue to change everything! What a privilege to gather as “Church,” Christ’s Body and learn God’s Wisdom and experience the strengthening we need to live in Christ’s Love.

- Fr. Allen


Photo by Amadej Tauses on Unsplash