Homily preached by the Rev. James La Macchia
Trinity Parish of Newton Centre
November 29, 2015
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Well, here we are this morning, at both the beginning of a new Church year and our first liturgy together as a brand new congregation. I can’t speak for you, but for me, the First Sunday of Advent has always been my personal “New Year’s Day.” And it is even more so this year because today, our formerly two parishes are now (finally) one.
Now, in the bad-old-days of political incorrectness, when we marked recorded history with the designations “B.C.” or “Before Christ” and “Anno Domino” or “In the Year of Our Lord,” this First Sunday of Advent would have been the first day of the two-thousand and sixteenth “Year of our Lord.” And while Jews and Muslims—our sisters and brothers in the Abrahamic faith—still proudly keep their own religious calendars and mark their years according to their own reckoning, we “thoroughly modern” Christians have foresworn our legacy and now carefully avoid offense with the bland designation “CE” for the “Common Era.” And perhaps, after centuries of anti-Judaism, Eurocentrism, and Christian supersessionism, we Christians are right to observe this small courtesy toward our Jewish and Muslim neighbors and fellow believers in the one “God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,” Blessed be He—especially in these fraught times. Continue reading