Twilight Twitches

fetscher...A Child is born, a Son is Given, ...and He shall reign for ever and ever. King of kings, and Lord of lords...

Dear Family,
My heartfelt wish is that over the last week you heard some version of Handel’s Messiah that helped you recall the depth of the “Us” you see in my header. “Us” is US. We celebrate Jesus’ coming in time nearly two millennia ago.

But fast forward, and realize that the same Jesus has come and is constantly coming to and for “Us.” He is present in each moment, for “Us.”

At Christmas you can’t help but think of Jesus in terms of the Christ child. We have stables and peaceful scenes with angels singing and animals providing warmth.

When the shepherds got the message about Jesus, the angels told them they would find the child wrapped in swaddling cloths lying in the manger. I never really knew what “swaddling” meant until I held my newly born grandniece, Faith Marie, in my arms one day after her birth. It was a hot September day and I couldn’t figure out why they had her so wrapped up. Duh. Someone patiently explained ‘Mommy’s womb.” OK. Got it.

In our sanctuary, and in most manger scenes you see, Jesus is represented with open arms. My theory is that it didn’t take him long to get to work, maybe about three bundled-up nanoseconds.

Then he opens his arms to the world. In our sanctuary, that open-armed child lies beneath the crucifix and tabernacle, the sign of His fate and the saving gift of His love. ...For unto “Us” indeed.

What does all that mean to me? No matter how old I get, or how much priestly ministry I do, I have the sense that “all of it” doesn’t mean as much as it could. But then how could I really appreciate the totality of God’s infinity? That’s what it comes down to for me. So... I hum the tune, “For unto to us a child is born,” and in my mind’s eye I see that open-armed child displayed under another set of open arms. The little child might grip my finger. The adult would need to say, “Just a minute while I remove the nails so my arms will be free to support you.”

This is the last Twitch of 2019. There’s nothing special about that, except that as the number will roll to 2020, I think to myself, I’d like to use the time of 2020 to unveil the next level of infinite love. Who knows how it will come, or who will be involved? I do know that if I want to catch I need to stay awake, for I do not know the day or the hour. (Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?)

As we continue to celebrate the 60th anniversary of our parish, even as we say thanks for the past, we also want to look to the future and ask what the Lord wants of us this year.

Annie Gardner recently took it farther out and wondered in another 60 years (2079) what would the folks of St. Sebastian be thankful for then. (The first thought that came to my mind was, “Well, if they are celebrating that means the place didn’t go under water yet.” We certainly have less than 60 years to begin to take that issue seriously. Just because I might not live a lot longer, doesn’t mean I have no responsibility for thinking about that grandniece of mine.)

For now, we thank God for time. I hope you have obtained you dinner tickets for the gala at Tropical Acres on January 17th. I have some extra reservations which I would be happy to give anyone who might have trouble with the cost. Having you there would mean a lot.

So, Happy New Year. May your knees be able to withstand briefs pauses in prayer, and may your sense of humor not choose 2020 to go on a sabbatical.

In the Lord of Time,
sign frjim

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