A new year has already begun, liturgically for the church. Our liturgical year begins with the first Sunday in Advent. Christmas follows Advent in the liturgy and this year we had two Sundays after Christmas. Epiphany is always on January 6 (the Twelfth day of Christmas), and celebrates the arrival of the Magi in Bethlehem. Epiphany ends on Ash Wednesday, this year February 17. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday continuing to Easter, this year April 4. Easter Season is always 7 Sundays and end on Pentecost Sunday, this year May 23. Sundays after Pentecost, or sometimes called Proper time or Ordinary time continues through Advent. So, the Church New Year began November 29, 2020.

Our calendar New Year begins January 1. 2020 has been an adventure for us all. Each of have years when we celebrate births, deaths, weddings, divorces, and many other significant things. Through all those things in 2020 we have also experienced with worst pandemic in history, radical racial change, political blunders, lies, and grid lock. Mask wearing, social distancing, quarantine, and isolation have become “normal”. Who would have guessed a year ago the state of our world today?

Each new year brings a promise of hope. Advent focuses us on the hope of God coming into our world. Now, we know that has happened, so hope for 2021 lies in mask wearing, social distancing, vaccines, and being responsible in all our social, religious, and political actions. God is with us. It is true.

Our calendar new year begins; our liturgical new year is already several weeks old. Both offer the opportunity for a closer relationship with God and each other. Both of them offer promise, challenges, and new opportunities for service. God bless us as we travel these new year’s together.

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