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Christmas Celebrations

“You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.” – Psalm 4:1b

This morning I was all set to return to the office after enjoying a week of holidays from Christmas through New Year’s. No, I didn’t go anywhere, but spending time with my family, working on hobbies, and simply having some all-important downtime was good. This morning I got up, showered, dressed, got Ian ready for Daycare, took him out into the cold, buckled him into his car seat, and slid into the driver’s seat.

And the car wouldn’t start.

Muttering under my breath, I opened up the garage, pulled out our handy battery booster, hooked it up.

And the car wouldn’t start.

Okay, this was getting serious. I pulled Ian out of his seat, went into the house and woke up both my wife and daughter to look after Ian while I called roadside assistance.

12 hours is what they told me.

This is NOT how I envisioned my first day of work in the New Year to go. Sigh. I think some innocent ears heard my mutterings. Oops.

It was important that I get to the office today, so Sarah and I decided to push my car further down the driveway to give enough room to squeeze Sarah’s car our of our single-car garage. While Megan looked after Ian, Sarah and I went outside. I got into my car, put the keys in the ignition so I could move the gearshift, and then decided to give it one last start, breathing a short, desperate, if not completely articulate, prayer.

It started.

I’m still driving Sarah’s car today, call it trust issues, but at least it started. A prayer, desperately offered in somewhat trivial circumstances, answered. I’m almost embarrassed to admit it. There are, of course, many technical reasons why the car started when it did, and didn’t start earlier. I’m not a mechanic, so while I offered a prayer, I defer to the professionals when it comes to mechanical issues with my car.

Still, it’s an entry point. On this first day back in the office, my focus is on prayer. Worship services and sermons for the next three months will be centered around prayer: what it is, what it isn’t, and the many different forms it can take. It seems appropriate that my day started with a somewhat comedic circumstance around prayer, but maybe it can give us a bit more of a perspective.

My prayer for you today, in this New Year, is that you may experience God working in your lives in a new way. That in the midst of whatever uncertainty you may be experiencing, that God’s comforting presence will be with you all.

Happy New Year!

John

Upcoming Events

  • Season of Epiphany
    • Christmas comes to a close on January 6th, leading us into the season of Epiphany. This year, the “in-between” season is longer than usual. The theme for the season is “Epiphanies of Prayer”
    • Annual Reports!
      • With the beginning of the year comes our preparation for our Annual Congregational Meeting. The date for the meeting remains to be announced, at least this week, but in preparation for that is a reminder to everyone that we are now starting to receive reports and narratives for our yearly compilation.
      • Congregational Membership Classes
        • If you or someone you know would like to formalize membership with St. Matthew’s, I am hoping to run a membership class in the next few months.  If you are interested, please email me, call me at the church, or speak with me directly on Sunday mornings.

Church Office Hours

  • This week, Wendy’s regular office hours are Mondays, 11am-3pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Friday from 9am-3pm.
  • My regular office hours during the day are Sunday through Thursdays from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Pastoral care visits and community meetings sometimes require that I be out of the office from time to time during those hours.

 

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