Dear family and friends of First Pres,
A colleague asked me this week how I marked time in during this swirly year. Because I am from north Georgia where there are four distinct seasons, I learned years ago that I had to learn to mark time differently than I did before I became a Floridian. No longer were there the variations of hot to cool to cold to thaw, but Florida simply bends towards either hot or a little less hot.
The way I have since learned to mark my time living in Florida is with the church’s liturgical calendar. The church calendar has been the way I’ve marked my years for the last 24 years. This Sunday, November 22, is the church calendar’s new year’s eve. Sunday is known throughout the church as Christ the King Sunday or the Reign of Christ Sunday. The church year ends on an explosive upbeat as we remember that at the culmination of all time, it is Jesus who reigns supreme as Lord of all through all eternity.
So, if Christ the King Sunday celebrates the end of the year, what comes next? We begin a new year together the Sunday after Thanksgiving with Advent as we prepare for the birth of God-with-us, Jesus. For all of us who cannot wait for this COVID year to get behind us, I remind you to use the Church liturgical calendar and year instead of the Gregorian one!
Sunday, we will be looking at Matthew 25:31-46. It is the third of the “judgement parables” shared in this Gospel. If you remember, last week we looked at what happens if we bury the talents entrusted to us and do not use those gifts of grace on God’s behalf. This Sunday, our parable will look at how we can put those gifts of grace to use.
Friends, please know that your church leadership is carefully watching the increase in COVID numbers and are prepared to temporarily suspend in-person worship at the church if we must. Your safety and the safety of the larger community is of the upmost importance to us. In the meantime, remember the three W’s: WASH your hands; WEAR your mask; and WATCH your distance from others.
I can’t wait to see you Sunday! Know you’re loved and prayed for!
Your pastor and friend,