Once again I’d like to wish each of you a peace and joy filled 2017!
The Advent and Christmas seasons have ended. We have also celebrated the Epiphany this past Friday, which is so relevant to the work that we do. Epiphany Day is the culmination of the Advent and Christmas seasons.
On this Day, also known as Three Kings Day, we remember the gifts of gold, incense and myrrh that the gentile magi brought to the saviour of the world in that manger.
Epiphany is relevant to us because it is a day for us to remember that Jesus came for the WHOLE world; for ALL people.
It is a day meant to challenge us to heal all wounds and divisions created due to prejudice and bigotry.
It is a day meant for unity under one King, one Ruler, one Saviour, who loves us all without any consideration of our nationality, colour, income, orientation, gender, political or religious beliefs.
It is a day of hope that one day, everything will be made right once and for all.
It is a day that represents everything we work for.
So now that we’ve celebrated Epiphany, we focus on the year ahead.
There is much to be hopeful for.
As information to some newer readers, and by way of reminding those who’ve been receiving these newsletters for over a year now, I thought I’d take some time to go over the history and purpose of the ‘Our Mission Focus-Year at a Glance’ poster. (as seen above)
Learning from history, it seems clear via our sacred text of the Bible, alongside our ‘Holy seasons’ like Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter, that following an annual devotional rhythm focusing on different things during different times of the year seems important.
The content of this poster gives us a form of an annual ‘rhythm’ of topics to focus on each month.
It attempts to cover the bases of the important things related to our work at The Salvation Army. Each month gives us a verse and a missional theme to focus on as individuals and as a team. January, for example, focuses on both our mission statement and our core value of excellence. This rhythm unites us so that wherever we are, whether with our teams or by ourselves praying, we can know that others are reflecting on the same topic. As a result, we can always know that we are never alone.
So everything I write in these newsletters will always be focused on whatever the theme of that particular month is.
We’ve made a few slight changes to the poster this year in response to feedback about it being somewhat difficult to read. So this version is the exact same content as the last one but is slightly less artistic so as to make it much easier to read. If you don’t have a copy of this but would like one for yourself or a bunch for each office in your ministry unit, please just hit ‘reply’ and let me know your mailing address and how many you’d like and we’ll get them to you.
It’s just another tool to help us strive to be The Hand of God in the Heart of the City.
God of all rhythms,
Our rhythm is our work in response to your work, your story.
You speak and act –and we listen and obey (or don’t).
Our rhythm is about You.
Not about our whims or inclinations or social loyalties
but about Your action, love, and kindness in our world.
Our rhythm reminds us that faith is something believed,
You are with us, above us, in us.
We don’t have to understand everything we participate in,
but we have faith that over time our participation in Your story
will transform and heal us and the whole world.