Good News: A Weekly Update from St Thomas Church—January 28, 2016

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Down with the rosemary and bays,

Down with the mistletoe;

Instead of holly now upraise

The greener box for show...

These words were written by Robert Herrick, an English cleric of the 16th/17th century. As a country parson, he often used poems to teach the progression of seasons of the Church year through the seasons of nature. This poem begins with the greens of Christmas: rosemary, bay, mistletoe, and holly. Later verses speak of later seasons and the accompanying greenery of “yews, flowers, rushes and oaken boughs.” Each in its season. We can looks around our own gardens and be reminded of the progression of greens and colors, sizes, shapes and fragrances.

The last verse of the poem sums it all up:

Thus times do shift;

Each thing his turn doth hold;

New things succeed,

As former things grow old.

The long and the short of it for us this week is this: This Sunday is the last Sunday after the Epiphany. We hear the story of Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountain and his radiant appearance with Moses and Elijah, and Peter’s exclamation, “It’s a good thing we were here: let’s build three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah – not knowing what he said.

It is hard to believe that Lent begins next week. Have you considered yet what discipline you might assume for these next weeks? Rather than “giving something up”, what might you “take on” that will help you to grow as a steward and apprentice of Jesus? O God, who before the passion of your only -begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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