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Based on John 1:1-5
While packing up my church office as we prepare for our temporary move, I enjoyed looking through my book collection. Since my ordination in 1996 I have always kept copies of the Moravian Daily Text. As I was packing them away I noticed a big difference in the Moravian Daily Text from the years 1999 and 2000. If you were to examine these covers carefully one can easily see that they are different colors. Although you may not be able to see this from where you are sitting, if you look a little closer, you will see that the words of our Moravian Seal are not printed upon the year 2000. In addition, if you observe these covers long enough, you may notice that in the year 2000, the lamb was looking back while the 1999 version has the lamb looking forward. Why was this the case I’m not sure but in a conversation with another minister they suggested that perhaps the lamb was looking back to make certain we indeed were following!
There is something about the start of a New Year that drives us to look back on the previous year. We make resolutions outlining how we plan to improve our lives in the New Year ahead. We all have a unique opportunity this morning to move into this New Year of worship together by celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Many of us like the idea of leaving behind an old year to begin a new year of possibilities together. Yet it takes more than the fresh start of a new calendar year or the good intentions of things like New Year’s resolutions to make a significant change in one’s life.
We could all heed the advice of Scripture from Paul who wrote: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” As we cross the threshold of 2018, as the sights and sounds of Christmas have passed we are reminded that through God each of can seek a new beginning. Our opening verses in the gospel of John tell us who promises us new beginnings. New life really begins with our relationship with Jesus. Following Christ can change our lives for the better. Holy Communion this morning gives us an opportunity for change as well.
Each time we come to the Lord’s Table it is a new beginning. Holy Communion provides us with an opportunity to let go of sin and grievances and turn them over to God. Holy Communion allows us to place our relationship with God as a top priority. Today as we come to the Lord’s Table, it is a time to let go of our grief, our anger and our fears. Most importantly we should come to the Lord’s Table seeking the forgiveness of God.
The start of the New Year is a time for new beginnings. Together let us increase our enthusiasm and commitment to serving God. May each of us recognize that in 2018 that with Jesus Christ in our lives, every day is a new beginning!
The Rev. Dr. David A. Marcus, Jr.
January 7, 2018