A Christmas Message from The Rector

We Shall Be Changed. Recently, I joined the Charlotte Symphony Chorus in singing Handel’s Messiah. This marvelous work includes the haunting melodious recitative, Behold, I tell you a mystery and triumphal aria, The trumpet shall sound. “Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall be all changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet…The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” It was a spiritual revival to sing with the chorus and humbling to be reminded by the baritone soloist that we shall be changed by Christmas.

The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the birth of God with us, marked a historical point in time when Love came down to heal a broken world and to make it both whole and new. Now, as we celebrate Christmas, specifically its hope for the world, the faith that was planted within us at baptism suggests that we shall be changed. Whether we reflect generally or specifically on the state of the world, each of us would agree that the world needs hope. The world needs a certain hope—and change—that comes through Christ the Savior who came to show us how to be agents of God’s love and justice. Fully divine and fully human, our Lord was born in a mystery that would change people and prompt the sounding trumpets with their lives.

I believe that we shall be changed through faithful commitments to engage and support life at St. Peter’s. Our Parish Vision to become a community of bold followers of Jesus, a crowd that effects good change for the world, a place known for radical love and welcome, and a beacon of hope in Center City Charlotte. The world needs the Church to fulfill its mission to restore all people to unity God and each other in Christ. Together, we can do much to celebrate the birth of Hope.

Christmas blessings as we change and bring change,

– The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector