It’s hard to believe it has been just a little more than three weeks since we celebrated the annual remembrance of the birth of Jesus, God with us in human form. So much has been packed into these intervening days, both expected and normal and unexpected and abnormal.
We often forget that, after Jesus is born, he, his mom and his adoptive dad find themselves undeniably aware that life is taking a very unexpected turn. They get word their king, Herod, wants baby Jesus killed since his presence threatens Herod’s power. Rather than stay in Bethlehem, where he was born, or return to Nazareth, the village where Joseph and Mary had lived before, they have to flee the country. They become immigrants and live in exile. It’s quite a story.
We are living quite a story, too. What seemed so certain a year ago at the beginning of 2020 gave way to uncertainties galore. Perhaps it has felt like being in exile for us. We are also fully cognizant of what has transpired over the events of the past ten days related to our government and who we are as a citizenry. What we know and don’t know at every level has been redefined in significant ways.
What comes next? Actually, no one can say for sure. Our new sermon series, titled, “2021: A Church Odyssey,” began last weekend. The word odyssey is defined as “a long wandering marked by many changes.” I think this defines our journey at this stage of 2021. With all that is known and unknown, I wholeheartedly trust we are ready for the journey ahead because we know that Immanuel, “God with us,” is truly, fully, deeply with us. May God guide us, one step at a time, to what is truest and best. Lord, have mercy. Lord come near. Lord, save us. Lord, guide our steps. Lord, give us your peace.
Standing with you as a fellow traveler in these days,