New Beginning as 'God is with us'

This New Year's Day is the 8th Day of Christmas. While it may be not be politically correct, and certainly unpopular in post-Christian circles to overlook the commemoration of the Circumcision of the Child Christ. However, to Christians this is tied up in our understanding 'God with us.' Born of Mary, a Jewish girl, Jesus was a Jew by birth. It was by circumcision that families were brought into the covenant relationship with the Lord God. In Jesus we are born into the family of God and circumcised into the covenant relationship with God; both in the reality of the flesh of Jesus. Yes, it is a messy business God being born of woman and the flesh of his foreskin. God came among us not in outward appearance, but in what we are, fully human and into our human existence. He came to fulfill The Law given by God as we humans had been unable fulfill because of our sin, our turning away from God.
It is fitting that the Circumcision of the Child Christ is also New Year's Day on our modern calendar. Jesus is bringing about a new beginning for those are adopted into his death and resurrection. Our resolutions are begun upon what God has done for us; it is not in expectation that we are working to be better men and women. Our resolve centers upon responding to God's love, that our lives might reflect what God has given unto us. It is not our taking on or giving up, but letting our lives show what has been given. The gift of God is already there for those who have received Christ.
If you haven't received Jesus into your heart, now is the time to ask him into your life. Now is the time to ask for the power of God to make you new in the sacrament of Baptism. This is the start of what begins every Christians' day, to ask Jesus to be Lord, Savior, and King in this new day, in this new year, and asking that power of God might fill our lives this coming day, and this coming year. And we know that no matter how messy our lives may get, real problems, real people, real tragedy, 'God is with us.' It is Jesus' name, Emmanuel, 'God with us.' Not in appearance, not in fancy words, but incarnate, in the flesh, the blessings of the Child Christ.
Alpine Christmas Day Dinner
It was a joyous gift. What a wonderful day that as the Church of the Blessed Trinity we could share the birth of Jesus with those who didn't "have a place for Christmas." What started the night before with sharing in the Sacrament of the Altar we could bring into Christmas Day. You can read more in this week's Alpine Sun newspaper or at our Alpine Christmas Day Dinner site. It has a link to all the pictures. We'll use the site to post our plans for sharing the gift of Christmas in 2009.
12th Night Celebration
On the Eve of the Epiphany, Monday, January 5th, your invited to the Burning of the Christmas Greenery, a fire made from pieces from our Christmas decorations, symbolizing the Light of Christ shining out to the world. The Epiphany Fire will start our festivity at 6:30pm at Victoria House, 2828 N Victoria, and is then celebrated with a Christmas Trifle (and a sugar-free trifle), Christmas cheer, and Hot Chocolate! This is a good time to bring neighbors to join the celebration. We'll have some extra Christmas greenery on hand so everyone can add to the Light of Christ shining into the darkness.