Dear friends in Christ,

Happy New Year! My reflection this month is about reflection. I normally publish one each month, as close to the beginning of the month as possible. Here’s the thing; reflection requires time and space (mental space). With all the activity and celebration basically from the middle of November through the first days of January, I wonder how many of us can actually take the time and create the mental space to really reflect. Speaking for myself, I haven’t been able to do that as much as I need to for my balance, and I appreciate being in a more “normal” rhythm of life as January settles in.

Why is reflection important? It helps us make sense of the events of our lives. We can live day-to-day without wondering where we are on life’s journey, without trying to put things into perspective. But when we do that, we are more likely to live a life of reaction rather than action. We deal with the thing in front of us, the next thing, and the thing after that. We look at our phones to tell us what we need to care about in any given moment because we’re sure there’s something.

God wants more for us than that. God wants us to act from our hearts, not react from our minds. Jesus tells us to seek God first, and everything else will be added. The world is always going to be there, demanding something. God is always there, too, eager for us to participate in God’s work in the world. Which will we focus on? We’ve just met the baby Jesus. Let’s sit awhile and reflect on how that gift might change our lives and the whole world.

One way to form a habit of seeking God first is daily engagement with scripture. Last Sunday some of us began journeying through the Gospel of Matthew, which is our main Gospel in this liturgical year. I hope many of you will join us, both in the reading and in the discussions (Tuesday night on Zoom, Sunday after church). I’m eager to hear your reflections, both on the readings and on how the journey affects your lives.