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Welcome Happy Morning!
“Welcome happy morning, age to age shall say”
The Hymnal, #179

Although it’s an Easter hymn, the opening line seems appropriate for this day. I can’t begin to tell you the number of people in various ways who have, over a number of months, expressed with genuine feeling how they can’t wait for the arrival of this day. It’s as if it would be a “happy morning” with all things okay again: no COVID-19, no isolation, no loss and no fear. Somehow, some way, all would be well with the arrival of this day.

Well, to me, with the dawning of this day, it seems as if all pretty much remains the same. Jesus has not returned in “all His Glory” to make all things new. Harry Potter is nowhere in sight, waving his magic wand as he says, “Expecto patronum,” and all the bad stuff goes away. However, I do have a word of hope to share with you this very morning on January 1, 2021: “I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11, RSV)

Reflecting on that word of hope, this is what I want to share with you this day. If my strength is in my faith, then the core to that strength must be trust. Spiritual faith is trust. The ability to believe beyond doubt that One with agency greater than my own is not only present, but at work in the world, at work within me and through me.

How do I know this to be true? I have a history with the Spirit (and you do as well). Looking back over my life, I see the handprint of the Spirit over and over again, a clear pattern of intervention, a track record of insight and support that is unmistakable. Therefore, I trust my experience (and pray you do as well), knowing the source is love, knowing the intention is kindness, knowing the wisdom is reliable. If you need a sense of reassurance in these troubled days, go to the core of what you believe and work your way back through you own history, seeing how your own life experience invites you to trust the power of love—the power of God—in your life. Indeed, “Welcome happy morning” as we begin a New Year with renewed trust. 
The Rev. Dick Elwood
Pastoral Associate
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