Weekly Reflection

The weekly reflection can be found in the weekly email newsletter or here on the website. 

Scroll down for this week's weekly reflection. 

Second Sunday after Christmas

1/3/20

O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may

share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Second Sunday after Christmas Day BCP 214)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I hope you have had a wonderful series of Holy Days and holidays. Today is the tenth day of Christmas and we have just barely started the new year of 2020. This new year will see a number of new things around St. John's, but our mission and our substance will not change. We are called to love and serve God, God's people, and the world. We do this best together when we remember that God came to be with us in all that we do.

The Christmas season is the shortest season in the liturgical calendar at only twelve days long. Yet, the importance and relevance of Christmas doesn't change when the season ends. As Christians we are called to live our lives in such a way that others can see the shared life of Christ within us. God came to earth to be human through Jesus so that we can learn and live to become one of God's divine family. Living into God's reality means letting go of the world's story of scarcity.

May we, on this tenth day of Christmas, remember to continue to rejoice, for God is with us each and every day. We never need to wonder or think about whether God cares about us or is involved in what we do. God is very present with us, knowing what it is like to be human, and to struggle through our relationships, power dynamics, and brokenness. God has blessed us with everlasting grace and presence.

May we be present with this day, in order to be present with all which God is doing in our lives. Amen!

The Feast of St. John the Evangelist

12/27/19

Shed upon your Church, O Lord, the brightness of your light, that we, being illumined by the teaching of your apostle and evangelist John, may so walk in the light of your truth, that at length we may attain to the fullness of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Feast of Saint John the Evangelist BCP 238)


Marry Christmas! Today is the third day of Christmas and also St. John's Patron Feast Day. Today is the day the church remembers and feasts for St. John the Evangelist, whom our community is named after. While our Parish Records state that the Rev. Charles Miller was sent by the Advancement Society of Pennsylvania as a missionary to Meadville, Franklin, Mercer, and parts adjacent in 1825 and that the church organized in Franklin had the name St. John's Church, there is no reason given for the choice of name at that time.


However, the name is a good one. Saint John loved Jesus very much and was faithful to him and his calling throughout his life. Saint John is said to have written the fourth Gospel book, in order to share his faith and understanding of Jesus throughout the Roman empire at the time. Tradition tells us that he was one of the younger apostles and became one of the longest lived ones, as he was never martyred.


Here at St. John's we live into the work of our namesake by our faithfulness to God and God's calling to us. We celebrate the Saint John every time we share the story of Jesus with others. We pray for his help in sharing the Good News of Christ every Sunday, in remembrance of his eloquence and faith. Take a moment to read a passage from the Gospel of John today, rejoice in the faith he had in Jesus, and share the Good News of Christ with someone else.


(Interesting trivia note: Nicodemus only shows up in the Gospel of St. John.)

Fourth Sunday of Advent

12/20/19

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Fourth Sunday of Advent BCP 212)


I find that in any serious preparation for something, I always need one last quiet moment to clear my mind and focus on what is about to happen. All it takes is a deep breath and a personal reminder that all will be well with God. The Collect for this coming Sunday, speaks to those moments in our spiritual life. With all the physical preparations going on for Christmas, the prayer reminds us to prepare our minds as well. To take those deep breaths and remind ourselves of all the good that is to come. Certainly this next week includes much to celebrate.


This Sunday, after the 10 am service, we will begin decorating for our Christmas services. On Tuesday, Christmas Eve, we have two services, the Family service at 4 pm and the Candlelight service at 9 pm. On Wednesday, Christmas Day, we will celebrate the Feast of the Nativity at 10 am in the chapel. I hope you will join us, bring your friends or family or even strangers!, to celebrate the great story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Our Messiah came to bring peace and joy, to show forgiveness and God's great love for us, which is certainly something to celebrate!


"Come and worship! Come and worship! Come and worship! Worship Christ the newborn King!" (James Montgomery)