A Message From Our Pastor
HAPPY NEW YEAR OF DREAMS AND EPIPHANIES!
Happy New Year! While some of you are eager to take down the Christmas decorations, don’t put away the Nativity just yet. The Christmas season has just begun. To be sure, I looked it up: “The Christmas Season includes the twelve days from sunset Christmas Eve through Epiphany (January 6).” Epiphany comes from the Greek word epiphaneia meaning “the manifestation or vision of God.” During the season of Epiphany we recall the story of the wise men coming from afar to pay homage to the King of Kings. It is also at this same time Joseph has an “epiphany” or dream warn-ing him to take his family to Egypt to escape Herod’s wrath. (Matthew 2). (www.umc.org/what-we-believe/liturgical-year).
When is the last time you had a dream for yourself? For your family? For your church? I am told that humans dream every day. In fact most of the time we have more than one dream in our REM cycles of sleep. Our bodies need to dream in order to stay alive. When you don’t dream, you die. When the church body no longer dreams, it can perish as well. But a church body that is healthy will see both epiphanies (visions) AND dreams! (Acts 2:17).
In January I would like for you to join me in dreaming God’s dream for Mt. Carmel in 2016. There are several ways to do this. Worship the Lord each Sunday in January where you will have an opportunity to begin writing down the epiphanies and dreams God wants to give to us. Consider joining one of the two Wednesday prayer groups. For the winter season, we will be using a resource by Mark Virkler called Hear God’s Voice Through Your Dreams. Make a commitment to be more involved in a ministry team this year. Here are some upcoming ministry opportunities:
- January 10 = State of the Church & Leadership Installation Sunday
- January 14 = North Davidson Missional Network Meeting (Important!)
- February 6 = Mt Carmel Church Leadership Day Apart
- March = Walk to Emmaus Spiritual Renewal Weekends
- April/May = Lay Witness Mission Weekend Event at Mt. Carmel
- June/July = Mt. Carmel Summer Children’s Ministry Project (District Vitality Grant)
Epiphany can be and should be a more exciting time than the arrival of Christmas. When we invite the Lord to speak to our hearts through an epiphany or dream, we open ourselves to a wider vision of who Jesus is, what He has done for us, and the new things He wants to do in us. Like the Magi, let us “see His star in the east and come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2: 2).