Thursday, December 31, 2015

Saint Sylvester - New Year's Eve 2015

Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ, 

He was in the beginning with God. (John 1:2)

John’s Gospel begins with a beautiful hymn describing “the Word,” which was with God since the very beginning. Any Jewish people reading this passage would have recognized this idea. In the creation story told in Genesis, God “speaks” things into existence—“Let there be light… . Let the earth bring forth vegetation,” and so on (Genesis 1:3, 11). It’s a sign of God’s creative power that every single word he utters brings forth something new, vibrant, and wondrous. That’s how powerful God’s Word is!

But as familiar as the idea of God’s creative word must have been, John introduces a whole new revelation: God’s Word is not only creative, it’s not only powerful, and it’s not only eternal. The Word of God is a Person. John wrote that he was with God in the beginning, not it was with God in the beginning. Then John went even further to say that this Person came and dwelt among us: Jesus, the Messiah!

You may have heard the biblical phrase “the Alpha and the Omega” (Revelation 21:6; 22:13). It’s a way of talking about how Jesus was at the very beginning of everything and will be at the very end. It’s another way of saying he is the first word and the last word of creation.

We’re at the end of 2015. Can you see how he was there with you throughout the year? We’re also on the cusp of 2016. Can you now expect him to be with you from the very first millisecond after the clock strikes midnight?

When the Word of God is present, he is active, not just a spectator! He is always speaking new life, forgiveness, guidance, and renewal. He is always speaking redirection, encouragement, insight, and love. The sun rises on a new year because he gladly calls it to. And if anything has fallen into darkness in the past year, he only has to speak, and light will shine on it in the year to come.

So with gratitude, thank Jesus for all the blessings of 2015; with trust, surrender to him its sorrows and disappointments; and with hope, ask him, the Alpha and Omega, to speak words of grace into the year to come.

“Word of God, let this day of endings and beginnings be a reminder of your constant presence.”

A blessed 2016

Father Ed Bakker, 
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province 
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne 

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