Text: Matthew 2:1-12
This Sunday is rich in theme. On the secular calendar, it is the first Sunday of the New Year. It is your first Sunday on which to make holy and sacred those New Year promises that you have made to yourself. Even if, in these past four days, you have already strayed from your list, in worship this morning you can ask for a do-over and rededicate yourself to all your good intentions. (Go ahead, right now, say yes again to all the good things you want for yourself in 2009.) On the Christian calendar, this Sunday is Epiphany Sunday. It is the Sunday in the church year when we celebrate the arrival of the magi at the house where Jesus was born and their recognition that the prophecies of the Messiah had become a reality. In keeping with the epiphany theme, we ponder today what gifts we have to offer the new-born babe; and we open our eyes and ears and hearts to any new insights or visions that God might have for us. For our particular congregation, there is yet another theme that comes into play on this Sunday, January 4, 2009. This Sunday, we begin our year-long 125th anniversary celebration. Throughout this year, beginning with today, we celebrate our history and bless our future as a congregation committed to doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God.