“Expecting the Best”
Sermon notes from Rev. Dr. Sherrie Connelly
The New Church of Montgomery, via zoom
January 3, 2021
The new year has begun and the light has come. Aha! The light has come. We are overjoyed by the new, the bright, the wide possibilities before us.
Indeed, this just past year, 2020, has been a difficult year for many people, if not all of us. It has been full of illness and challenges. So the good news of the Epiphany is a refreshing welcome. A time of blessings, indeed.
Paul alerts us to the mystery that will soon be revealed as the coming of Jesus Christ. The depth of this mysterious gift is direct access to God, our Lord on high. To know God and God’s love.
In the gospel, we hear of the familiar figures of the three wisemen—three men on a pilgrimage. From the East-following the bright star at night.
They found where the star had stopped and discovered a newborn baby in a manger, in swaddling clothes, in a feeding trough meant for hay and grain for the farm animals.
The gifts they brought to the babe, the son in Mary’s arms, were gold frankincense, and myrrh. They brought their best to him. Gold, signifying the good, frankincense, signifying internal truth from good, and myrrh signifying external truth from good.
These wandering kings recognized the Divine in this tiny human child, and already understood the amazing and grace-filled future that was His to unfold in the year to come.
The magic of a new year is the richness of potential. It is a time of expectation. A full, momentous time mostly unknown.
Because it is a new year, 2021, a new time, and a time full of anticipation, rightly it is a time for expecting the best, It is a time when we are glad to be refreshed and time to hope for the very best that is possible in the new year to come.
We are full of hopes and possibility, even dreams. Hope that the Covid-19 vaccine will work and cure a terrible illness which has caused so much suffering, illness and death. To date, over 2 million cases have been confirmed the USA, and now after 1762 deaths yesterday, a total of over 350K people have tragically died in our country. Over 1.83 million, worldwide. Hopes that people’s health will be restored and their broken families healed anew. And hopes that our divided country will be restored and united.
What are your hopes? And what are your dreams? What do you wish would happen in this new year, 2021?
Martin Luther King, Jr. is known for his stirring and memorable speech, “I Have a Dream!”
The good news of Epiphany is that we all can follow a Holy Star and we all can dream dreams, too. Dreams can be wide, far flung and global. They can involved our country as well as our states cities and towns. Of course, they can involve our individual families and ourselves.
Today’s message is broad and hopeful. You are invited to Expect the Best, as well as rolling up your sleeves and working for it. You are invited to rejoin and to celebrate. 2020 is past, and the new year has come.
What will you celebrate?
How will you celebrate?
Will you celebrate with others?
Or by yourself?
Will you plan the year?
Season by season?
Month by month?
Week by week?
Or let it unfold naturally? Day by day? Hour by hour? Minute by minute?
A new year is a joyful gift full of opportunity and promise…
Life is yours. Full for the taking and the making…
Embrace it fully— be present now—be in the Holy Presence, and expect the best!