By Fr. Justin Clemente. A reflection on New Creation’s 10th Anniversary Celebration.
About 95 people gathered with us this past Sunday to give thanks for God’s faithfulness over 10 years of ministry in Hagerstown, MD. What a day! I don’t know about you, but I left SO encouraged! Just a few highlights:
- The people! We had old friends, new friends, three priests, and extended family members join us for the day. The people brought such encouragement with them!
- The Mustard Seed! Our Lord’s Parable from Mark 4:30-34 reminded us that “the smallest of all” will be “the greatest of all.” We’re not afraid to be large or small, for “our labor is not in vain.”
- The slideshow! All were treated to a wonderful collection of pictures and videos from 10 years together. This slideshow captured many of the smaller and yet more meaningful moments of our life together (and moments of true growth).
- The food! What a feast! Although we out performed our expected attendance (we expected about 70), no one went hungry. Thanks be to God for everyone, especially Brooke and Melissa, who worked hard to pull of Sunday’s feast.
- The gift! Brooke and I were blessed with a BIG gift card to plant an actual tree to the glory of God! Whatever we plant, it will be our ebenezer stone to God’s faithfulness and goodness. The Lord is exceedingly and abundantly faithful!
There was one moment in our service that really caught my attention. Dave Breich selected Psalm 92 as our psalm reading for the day and it couldn’t have synced up better with Mark 4:30-34. Listen to how it ends:
11 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, *
and shall spread abroad like a cedar in Lebanon.
12 Those who are planted in the house of the Lord *
shall flourish in the courts of our God.
13 They also shall bring forth fruit in their old age, *
and shall be green and full of sap,
14 That they may show how upright the Lord is, *
my rock, in whom there is no unrighteousness.
Isn’t that what we’re all praying for New Creation? That it may flourish in the Kingdom of God, founded on the shed blood and mighty Resurrection of Jesus? May it be so!