As I mentioned in the homily last weekend when we celebrated the three kings coming and worshipping Jesus, we are providing to you this weekend the annual report. The trend of our parish is towards growth in all areas. We are blessed! We have the opportunity to do even more, and as we expand our facilities we anticipate that more and more people will discover the wonderful community we have here at St. Luke’s Parish.
As we go forward, as we continue our journey following the star, let us look to come and experience the power of Christ together. Let us seek the light of Christ together, and let’s plan to come to the manger again next year. The Wisemen took two years to plan and follow the star and reach a place where they could give kingly gifts. The Gold covered the practical expenses the Holy Family encountered as they fled to Egypt, the Frankincense provided some comfort to them while they were in the stable, and the myrrh looked to the future that Jesus would face. They planned for the journey into the future. I’d like to challenge you, and I’m going to take the challenge as well- to plan your journey of giving your gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh much like the wisemen did. What I’m asking us to do over the next year is look at the way in which we give. Do we plan before hand, saying “I’m going to give this much?” Do we find something here, a star guiding the way you worship, teach, or care, and think “I’m going to give to help that be successful”? I’d invite you all to look to next epiphany, next time we see the star, and make a commitment now, saying to yourself, “Next year at this time I’m going to have presented the gift I’m being called to give, I’m going to follow the star and see where it leads.”
Any gift you give will help our church to go forward pursuing the star that has appeared, right here in Ankeny. And what is more, you will see the fruits. You will watch us grow. You will see our impact spread. You will see more lives touched, more people reached. We are over 580 registered families now, we have 162 students in our school now, we have 345 students in R.E., we have so many wonderful examples of Christ working in the world taking root right here- thanks to you. Thanks again for all that you do to make St. Luke’s great, and to fulfill our mission, to worship Christ, to teach Him, and to care for Him in the poor. We truly couldn’t be successful without everyone following the star, following the path to epiphany. Next year, as we approach this feast, we will be able to measure the impact of our work here, and know that we are truly enriched in heart and mind as we go into the future.