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January 4, 2017, 6:51 AM

A word at mid-week, 1/4/2017

Welcome to the first mid-week of 2017 and to the 11th Day of Christmas!

This past Sunday, we gathered to celebrate not only New Year's Day but also the liturgical Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. This celebration, which falls on the eighth day of Christmas or after the birth of Jesus, recalls when he was named Jesus - the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. 

Celebration of the Holy Name on the first day of January reflects the significance of beginning each year and living out the entire year under the auspices of Jesus' name, which from the Hebrew means, "Yahweh is salvation" or "Yahweh will save." Devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus is particularly derived from Phil 2:9-11, which states that God highly exalted Jesus "and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth."

Being highly exalted by God, Jesus was not so much interested in dominance and power and prestige as he was in making the ordinary, holy. Through him, ordinary people became holy people who did extraordinary things. In the name of the Jesus, we receive the gifts of holy bread and wine that nourishes us spiritually. Through Jesus' name, ordinary water is made holy and washes us and welcomes us into the family of God. Please see my sermon.

As we begin this year under God's holy name, I want to invite you and all others to a special St. Matthew's challenge. Throughout the whole of 2017, let's dedicate this year to Looking for the Holy in Everyday Ordinariness!

  • This January, start the year with an empty jar. Each day or each week, ask God to show you something holy within your normal, everyday, ordinary world. Write down the things that you notice and add it to your jar. On next New Year's Eve, empty the jar and read about all the times and in all the ways that God revealed holiness in your life. You might just be amazed to see how God is all around you in the people you meet, the places you go, and the things that you do. Come along and take the St. Matthew's challenge!

For the past several weeks, you may have noticed a number of small red hats that have been collected in the basket on the table by the entrance to the nave. This is an initiative by The Yarn, Book and Prayer Club to help the American Heart Association kick off this year's "Little Hats, Big Hearts" campaign by collecting knitted or crocheted red baby hats to be distributed to babies born in hospitals throughout Indiana during the month of February. This coming Sunday, we will bless the hats and send them on to be used.

A word about Music at St. Matthew's. This coming Thursday evening, we will be interviewing a candidate for the position of Director of Music. I am excited about this opportunity and will keep you posted. 

Dale Caldwell has also graciously agreed to play for services this coming Sunday since we in an "in between" time with music. 

Finally, please join me in thanking Jeff Higbie for playing last week! He did a great job and is always willing to fill in when needed. THANK YOU, JEFF!

God's love to you all! Fr. Frank


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