Dear friends in Christ,
These marvelous handmade gift tags are the perfect illustration of “what is old is new.” Parishioners donate old Christmas cards throughout the year and Trinity’s Handcrafts group transforms them into something new and lovely. There is care, love, and creativity at work; and many hands of those who donate the cards and hands of those who craft a new thing out of the old. The old cards, originally sent with love, receive a new life as they adorn a gift given in love.
This is happening all the time in a life of faith. In our historic Chapel each week as we gather for the Wednesday Office; new voices speak the ancient words of the psalmists and prayers from our Book of Common Prayer. On Monday the familiar Christmas story will be shared again in the pageant. A parishioner who was not even born last Christmas will portray the baby Jesus! What is old is always being made new! Our prayers, our liturgy, Holy Scripture, the wonderful Trinity community — these are living things—ever changing expressions of a living God who brings new life to all. We gather in old buildings, we tell old stories, we honor well-loved traditions, but the truth is that nothing is ever the same. Loved ones have gone on to glory this year, new babies have been born, new Christians have joined us in the fellowship of the baptized. Friends have moved away and newcomers have joined us. Every year we elect new vestry members and our ministries change and grow as different people are called to step into new roles. The Body of Christ in the world and here at Trinity is a living, changing body….what was old is always being made new by God’s transforming love for us and our faith in God’s presence with us.
Christmas highlights this newness. A baby is born with the power to change our “old hearts” once again. Is my old heart prepared for what is new? Will I welcome the wondrous mystery of Christ’s birth into my comfortable old heart this year? Those are the Christmas questions. Mystery is scary, change makes us nervous, newness brings us to unfamiliar places; it is easier to rest in the familiar old places; to protect our weary hearts. God knows this about us, so he comes to us as a vulnerable baby; he shares in our human fragility and invites us to take the risk of love. When we open our heart to embrace the Christ child, the wonder of this new life which God offers each of us; our “old” hearts and our lives are transformed. May your Christmas be filled with this transforming love; your heart made new by Christ’s dwelling there.
Peace and blessings,