A Blessed Epiphany to you all!! In this lovely season of Epiphany, we celebrate the revelation of God as a human being in Jeuss Christ. I love that this is a season and not just a day because the whole concept of Incarnation is such a tough one to wrap my mind around. I’m glad that the focus of our worship hasn’t moved on quite yet; we have from now until Lent to grapple with what this beautiful truth means to each of us.
As some of you know, for one of my day jobs, I work as the residence director of a women’s dorm at Hillsdale College. One of my lovely Resident Advisors shared a special song with me during Advent: “Humble” by Audrey Assad (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzNfA4Tj2KI ). One line really hit me – that Jesus was “not too proud to wear our skin.” We, who were made in God’s image, worship our God who humbled himself to take on ours. Just blows my mind!! How do we respond to this “wondrous love?”
I know that I need to make time to focus on the revelation of God in Christ. My days get so full with all kinds of really good things. I bet your days are full, too. So, I feel I owe you an apology before I even go further in what I want to share with you this week. How can I possibly ask you to do more? Well, I’m not…not necessarily. But I am asking that you consider what you might do in response to one of the resolutions from our Convention last October.
You might be thinking “How are the resolutions fulfilling my desire to respond to God’s love for us?” I think that one way we can respond is to extend that love to others around us. It doesn’t take much looking to see the needs in our communities and the world. Since it’s time for our congregations’ annual meetings, this is the perfect time to remind you of one of the resolutions that our friends with Covenant 5 brought to the Household. At our Diocesan Convention in 2013, Covenant 5 asked each congregation to adopt one of the resolutions from the 2012 General Convention. Many of our congregations did (you can check out the list of what others are doing here – http://covenant5.org/uploads/Responses_by_Resolution.pdf ) but not every congregation has responded to the call, so Covenant 5 brought the resolution back to Convention last October. As you know, 2015 is a General Convention year, so we’ll be bringing new resolutions for action when we return from Salt Lake City but that doesn’t mean the “old ones” are outdated at all; many of these issues are on-going and crucial. That makes this the perfect time to adopt one of the previous resolutions. You can find all the possibilities here – http://covenant5.org/Cov_5_Dioc_Church.php#GC_Resolution_Texts
Let me suggest that you bring this to your Vestry for inclusion in your discussions at the Annual Meeting. When you find a resolution that speaks to you and your congregation’s passion, contact the churches that are already doing something about that issue. They may be able to share their story – what works and what doesn’t – which will give you a head start for success!
One last request for this week – PLEASE share with us your stories of ministry!! You can do this easily by leaving comments on this blog page or on our Facebook page. We aren’t designed to be “lone Christians” but to be the Body of Christ and bodies definitely work better when all the parts communicate with each other.
I pray for our Household every morning. This week I’ll be praying that we each come to a deeper understanding of God’s love for us demonstrated by the Incarnation as we move through the season of Epiphany. Let us join together in prayer –
Father of light,
today you reveal to men of faith
the resplendent fact of the Word made flesh.
Your light is strong,
Your love is near;
draw us beyond the limits
which this world imposes,
to the life where Your Spirit
makes all life complete.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
~ Judith Schellhammer, chair, Resolution Review Committee, Diocesan Council