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November 30, 2016, 6:44 AM

A word at mid-week, 11/30

A "BIG THANK YOU" to all of you who made my birthday so special during coffee hour this past Sunday!!!!! The food was so good and so plentiful that some even asked if I could have multiple birthdays each year! 

The first words we hear at the beginning of Advent, at the beginning of a new Church Year, come from the Prophet Isaiah. His words come from a vision as he "sees the word of God coming to him." Advent is about waiting and the long-expectation of the coming of this new and unimaginable vision. But, as followers of Jesus, we do not wait around, sitting idly by waiting for something to happen - we make things happen!

Isaiah casts God's vision of the world - a vision that we work with God to bring about. It can seem like a daunting and perhaps unbelievable vision where the world will be a place that "they will beat swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks...where nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will people train for war anymore." It is a vision that stands the test of time because it is God's vision that he has been (and continues) to bring about and invites us to help realize this vision. Please see my sermon, below.

In addition to God's vision for the world, God also has a vision for us, as a faith community. This past year, the Vestry and I worked on and crafted a strategic vision for St. Matthew's. It was a good way to begin this year of transition with you. To rediscover and revitalize our purpose as a small, family-sized Episcopal parish on the east side of Indianapolis. What is God's plan for us? Can we see the Word of God coming to us, like Isaiah did? What does the vision hold? What are the hopes and dreams we have? What will it take from all of us to bring about God's vision for St. Matthew's?

As we move toward the end of 2016 and look forward to all that lies ahead in 2017, it is an important time for us to really consider and reflect on who we are and who we believe we are called to be as a parish. I asked the Vestry to pray and reflect on the following questions, and I am now asking each of you to do the same:

  • If St. Matthew's did not exist, what difference would it make?
  • How has St. Matthew's specifically and concretely changed your life?

I invite each of you to bring these two questions to your daily prayers each day during this Advent Season. As you do, see what surprising ways that God's vision will come to you!

God's love to you all!  Fr. Frank

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