Reverend Kristine A JohnsonHappy New Year! Last year was a time of change for all of us here at St. Mary’s. None of us could have foreseen last January 1 what 2019 would bring, and yet here we are, embarking on a new journey of ministry together. Oh, whoops, forgot to change the year when I pasted that from last year’s January newsletter! I’m going to save it, though, and reuse it again next year. It’s true every year, isn’t it? We cannot see the future. But looking back helps us look forward in faith. We know that whatever the future holds, God will be with us, because God has been with us.

God was with us as we switched from worshipping together in our historic church to worshipping together using modern technology. God was with us as we found new ways to be present to each other. God was with us as we discovered new ways to love our neighbors, close by and far away. God was with us as we grieved deaths and celebrated new births. God was with us as we celebrated Easter, gathered for parish camp, went to Our Little Roses for online summer camp, blessed our devices for a new school year, journeyed through Advent, and celebrated Christmas. God was with us as we knitted together, as we read and reflected together, as we wrote together, as we sang and worshiped together. God was with us when we were together and God held us together when we were apart.

And so it is not a wistful hope that God will be with us as we journey on. It is hope grounded in faith, sustained by the love that never lets us go. We do not know what this year will hold, but we know it will be another year full of change, and that we will find blessing in unexpected places.

This month we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, and we remember the wise travelers, drawn by the light of a star, who traveled to worship the Christ child. “When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.” – Matthew 2:10-12).

We, too, are following a different road as we journey back to a place we’ve known before. When we get there, we will see it differently, because our experience on the road is changing us. We are more aware of our dependence on God and of our interdependence as God’s beloved children. May we continue to step in faith, together, as we scan the horizon for signs of what is to come. God is with us.