Happy New Year

Date: December 4, 2023

The Church calendar is back at the beginning. Advent one has arrived. The marking of time is important. Time is precious and it passes all too quickly. We all have different calendars. We have the secular calendar that goes from January to December; we have our own personal and domestic calendar, where the important events are birthdays and anniversaries; and we have the calendar that invites us to live life in the context of the transcendent. This is the Church calendar.

The Church calendar invites us to walk every year with Jesus. So, now we are in the season of preparation. We are preparing for the arrival of the Christ child. It is a season of anticipation. It is also a season that recognizes that we are “in between” the two comings – the coming of revelation and salvation (the birth of Jesus) and the coming of the kingdom where justice will be ushered in (the second coming). We live in that space of knowing what we must do (because Jesus has told us) and yet knowing that the vision of the world anticipated in the first coming has not yet been realized. We live in a space of striving: our task as the Church is to slowly work towards the vision that Jesus anticipated.

So, Happy New Year everyone. Let us prepare afresh for the journey of the year with Jesus, and let us commit afresh to working for the realization of the kingdom that is promised in Christ.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary and the President of The General Theological Seminary

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