February’s focus for many individuals and organizations is on the heart: heart healthy diets, hearts of love, Valentine’s Day, cardio check-ups, etc. Since we continue through our Epiphany Journey, we might add to that list “open Hearts”. We pray at the start of the Eucharist, “Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid:…” (BCP 355). 

By intentionally opening our hearts to God and intentionally offering our innermost thoughts, desires, concerns, and fears, we risk also opening new pathways along the roads that are our lives. Life becomes an exciting adventure when shared at that level with our Lord. How might Christ manifest himself to you at the next sunrise? What new encounter might reveal a bit more of how much Jesus loves you? What unopened gift from God lies ready for unwrapping deep  within the chambers of your heart? How will you and God use that gift to further the Kingdom and who might appear in your life to shine their light or receive your light?

During the past nine months of parish transition there have been a good many “discoveries” by parishioners from the God of Surprises. Who knew how much fun could be had at a food pantry on a Saturday morning? (More that at the grocery store for oneself, I’ll bet.) Who would have guessed that handing out sack lunches could bring such joy to the donor? (More than attending a fancy luncheon?) Who knew that visiting an elderly homebound person, listening to another’s struggle with grief, finding a sweater for a person on the street on a cold day – who knew that these things could be transforming? Many have found out and now they know.

Does your heart of hearts need some exercise? A new exercise routine? A little spring tonic? Check out the many possibilities for service and involvement in St, Andrew’s community and find your gifts. Refer to the listing later in this newsletter for contact persons and reach out. Find the surprise(s) God has in store for you. Open your hearts – let the God –times in.

With gratitude for you all.,