“Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.”

The Great Conjunction of Promise and Hope

Good morning. Today is the first Sunday of 2021. Can I just say that again? It’s 2021! This is a year onto which we can lash all of our aspirations and hopes for regathering, rebuilding, and healing, and … well, normalcy.

There’s something about Christmas that touches our hearts like nothing else does. There’s something that stirs inside us when we hear those familiar lines from Isaiah: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of darkness, on them light has shined.”

It is hard to imagine what it was like for Mary to have an angel appear to her and greet her with a word of pure grace.

Nine months ago, services at St James were suspended because of the pandemic. Many of us who are watching on livestream today have not been in church—in this beautiful and holy space for nine months.