Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas and St. John's Day - Rector's Rambling for December 25 & 27, 2015

What a wonderful event it is for the Church, to celebrate the birth of the Son of God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The season of Advent helped to guide us through the past four weeks of preparation for the big day, by having us not only focus on the birth of Jesus, but also by remembering that he will return again in glorious majesty to judge the quick and the dead.  If you are preparing for that event, which no one knows when will happen, then your soul will also be prepared for the celebration of the Son of God in Bethlehem!

The Nativity helps is to remember the full humanity of Jesus Christ.  It is a wonderful mystery that God Himself would decide to send the second person of the Holy Trinity to redeem fallen humanity.  As God, he could have come down from the clouds, as he will do at the last day.  But instead he deigned to take human flesh, lived among us as a human being in every way except sin, and then takes our flesh with him as he has ascended into heaven after his resurrection… but that is getting ahead of ourselves in the story.

Helpless, and dependent upon Mary and Joseph, the Son of God has dwelt among us.  May we always appreciate the great gift that God has given us in His Son.

On Sunday we celebrate the Feast of St. John the Evangelist.  This is a big day for us at St. John’s because it is also the founding date of our parish.  In 1858 on St. John’s Day the parish was incorporated, a vestry and wardens elected, and the parish begun.  Eleven months later, the chapel would open, and 18 months after that the church building.  The first week the parish was open, 600 people applied for parish membership by trying to rent pews for the year!

We give thanks to God for those who have gone before us and have left us this wonderful edifice, as well as the goodly heritage that goes with it.  Like them, we will pass away in time, but by God’s grace this parish will continue beyond us as it has them, embracing the same faith that has been given to us by Jesus Christ.  May God continue to bless St. John’s.