I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God-- what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
Growing up, I was one of those weird kids who couldn't wait for school to start. New pencils, a new notebook, and fat erasers were heralds of new adventures on the horizon. The anticipation of learning something new was always more powerful for me that the "new class jitters."
In last week's epistle, Paul reminded the body of Christ that we are all called to a life of learning and discerning. True learning peaks our curiosity, opens us to the mysteries all around us, and imparts a sense of wonder. And the more we know, the more we recognize that we can never know everything there is to know -- about ourselves, our world, or our God.
Paul understood (even if the institutionalized church forgot) that learning is essential to being a good disciple. We can encounter a familiar passage of scripture in unusual circumstances and it teaches us something new. The Spirit speaks to us differently at different times. The world changes and we must adapt the ways in which we model the goodness of the Gospel. We need not be afraid of new information or new discovery, because we know that God is always revealing God's self to us.
This is what the church means when it says, "Christian Formation is a lifelong process." Each new season brings us an opportunity to dive more deeply into the great mystery that creates, redeems and sustains us.
I invite you to enter this new program year at St. Margaret's with a sense of adventure. Sharpen your pencils, pull out your notebooks, and get ready. Every part of the church year Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Easter and Pentecost will offer an opportunity to learn something new, to experience something differently, to find renewal.