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Foundations For Our Future #56

Foundations for Our Future (56)

by: The Reverend Dr. Jon Shuler

 

The twelfth day of Christmas which, the Oxford English Dictionary notwithstanding, I reckon to be January 5th, is a final day of feasting. A custom grew in England to gather up the dried greenery from neighboring homes, and to build a bonfire that night on the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany. Around a roaring fire, believers would sing carols one last time until the following December.

Today we know this is not ecologically friendly, but the joy of a roaring fire on a cold night is still with us. It is a picture, too, of the character of the church when many are ablaze with the love of Christ. Though a small flame if only one, it becomes a strong  fire when many contribute. It is a picture of the church aflame.

At Nativityfest this year we saw over one hundred twenty examples of the first worshippers of the Lord Jesus. Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the three Magi, all gathered around the manger. We can only imagine the reality of that time for Mary, but we can all recognize how much more wonderful it was to have Joseph and the others share her joy. It is the same with the local church.

Some plant, others water, but only God can give the growth. (I Corinthians 3:5-7) Let us pray this year that the joy believers have known in these twelve days will spread to others this year. May the Lord Jesus fan the flame of this parish into a blaze.