Archive for December 31st, 2020

Close your eyes, breathe, and clear your mind. Be still. Center your scattered senses on God’s presence.

SCRIPTURE: John 8:12

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”


This day traditionally celebrates Sylvester I, who served as Pope of the Western Church from 314-355. Medieval legend made him responsible for the conversion of emperor Constantine. This day commemorates the day of his death.  During Sylvester’s rule as Pope several large churches were founded and built, including the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, Old St. Peter’s Basilica, as well as several churches built over the graves of martyrs.  The day was traditionally marked by church attendance at a watchnight service (midnight mass), as well as fireworks, partying, and feasting.  The holiday is still celebrated to commemorate Sylvester by several countries in Europe. 

Our thoughts this day are on the approaching new year. This gives us an opportunity to think about how time passes in such a mysterious way – in some ways too quickly and in other ways very slowly. We can also reflect on the many blessings and graces God has bestowed upon us this year – even amid the pandemic and politics.  It is also a time to reflect upon and confess the sins and short fallings we have had throughout the year.   As we end the tumultuous year of 2020, let us think about the long history of a growing church, and consider how we might, in 2021, help participate in spreading the Word of the Gospel to all people we know and meet. Perhaps this will be in new ways we have never experienced before!

COLLECT:  Written by Collects are short general prayers used in Christian liturgy to draw our focus of worship.  The collect today is from the PC-USA Book of Common Worship.

Eternal God, a thousand years in your sight are like a watch in the night. As you have led us in days past, so guide us now and always, that our hearts may learn to choose your will, and new resolves be strengthened; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Click on the link to see and hear the music video.

MUSIC VIDEO:  Maeve MacKinnon and Pipers of the World: Auld Lang Syne.  Scot’s Version

IMAGE: A 1247 fresco of Pope Sylvester I and Constantine

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