Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn!
– The Canticle of the Turning/
Once again, we have completed another revolution around the sun, and come to the place where we wait in darkness for the coming of the Light – the Christ Child. And as I sang in my sermon last Sunday — and to paraphrase the Magnificat sung by the Mother of our Lord — God is still “turning the world around”. Both here at St. James and throughout the world, people are waking up: to new ways of worship, new ways of serving others, new ways of growing up into the full stature of Christ. As with all “births” it is a fulsome time: full of fears, of excitement and anticipation.
We’ve spent weeks preparing ourselves. We’ve engaged in spiritual practices, we’ve decorated our worship space and our homes, we’ve planned liturgies of beauty and joyfulness. We’ve also likely been preparing gifts — tokens purchased or created for those whom we love, to express our appreciation and bring them joy. These gifts, we recognize, pale in comparison to the greatest gift given to us by God in Jesus the Christ; the gift of life eternal, the gift of hope and salvation for all. God continues to give gifts to each of us, calling us to use them toward the further coming of his reign on earth.
So, this week, as we stand at the manager and behold gratefully the luminous gift of our incarnate God, let us also consider the other Spiritual gifts that are ours to steward. Out of deep gratitude for God’s generosity, let us give of those gifts to our community and to God’s holy Church, praying for pathways to increase these gifts in ourselves and others, and participating in Jesus’ great revolution in the world.
I invite you, following the example of the Blessed Mother Mary, of the Holy Family, of all the saints and apostles, to unite in our faith and to step forward bravely toward our shared mission.
Yours in anticipation,
Ephesians 4: 11,12 – The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.