We hear the call.
We open our eyes; we open our hearts; we take in the new day all around us.
The First Baptist Church in Beverly is ready and willing to respond to the call, too. We are ready and willing to open our eyes and our hearts to a new day, to a changed and ever-changing America, to new directions in the life of the church and in the spiritual life of the nation and of the world.
We are awake. And, like the American poet Walt Whitman, we realize that when we are truly awake, nothing looks the same as it did before. When we are truly awake to God’s wonders, to God’s call, and to God’s blessings, the world is new. Life is new. We ourselves are new. God’s blessings are game-changing blessings.
This is not to say that all of God’s blessings are momentous and earth-shattering, appearing to make themselves known to us in bolts of lightning or burning bushes. Most of the blessings that fill our lives are small, steady, daily blessings — the people who share our days, the beauty of creation all around us, the kind word or helping hand extended to us by a friend or neighbor. They are so seemingly small that we some-times move right past them, forgetting to notice them, as if we are asleep.
When we awake to these blessings, when we see them with new eyes and with full and grateful hearts, nothing looks to us as it did before. The world is richer, stronger, more vibrant, and more beautiful when we are awake to God’s blessings in our lives.
This year, we will explore this theme together. We will think together about the many blessings and gifts that we enjoy; we will give thanks; we will awaken our hearts and our souls to God’s good news all around us.
Let us rejoice!
Let us go forth!
Let us be Awake to God’s Blessings!