The Rev. Peter A. Lane

Christmas Greetings Dear People of St. Alfred’s,

I bought a new Advent wreath this year. It’s quite small and simple – a rendering of the Holy Family on pottery surrounded by four candles but it’s added a lovely element to my other Advent traditions of setting up my creche, hanging some lights, and of course, writing this letter to all of you.

For most of us, the beloved symbols and traditions of this holy season of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany are at the heart of our Christmas preparations. Without them, it wouldn’t feel like Christmas. They draw us into the spirit of the season, recalling fond memories of Christmases past, and comforting us with a sense of connection and continuity. So, adding something new to my holiday traditions has been a wonderful reminder that God is always doing something new it’s really at the heart of the Christmas story, isn’t it?

For millennia, God had spoken through signs and wonders and prophets – from Moses and Elijah and down through the generations God’s Word is revealed in this way. Until God did something new and frankly. mind-blowing God took on human flesh and dwelt among us. The truth is God is always doing something new and mind-blowing to stir us up and lead us forward. Sometimes that new thing comes through the “yes” of a teenage girl, and sometimes it comes through the life of someone who had given up hope — Abraham and Sarah were old, approaching the end of their lives when God visited them with astounding news – you will conceive and bear a son!

What new thing does God have in store for you at this time in your life? Have you been thinking such wonder and possibility are things of the past? Hold on – God sees all sorts of possibilities for you! We might laugh like Sarah at the thought, or scratch our head like old Abraham wondering how this could be, but the wonder of this Christmas story is that God is always, always ready to do something new and life-giving in our lives, if we will join with Mary and say “Yes Lord, let it be unto me according to your will”.

Here at St. Alfred’s, we have spent the last year wondering and asking one another what new things God has in store for us as a community of faith. Have you been part of that wondering and some of those conversations? They are ongoing, and as I hope this brief letter will remind you, every one of us is part of the wonderful new things God is doing in us and through us.

A very blessed and holy Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany to you all. May we each move through this

season with a renewed sense of wonder, hope and expectation that no matter our station or stage in life, God has

new and remarkable things in store for us. Together let us offer God our own “yes” so that the miracle of

Christmas may be born in us, too.

Fr. Peter

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