The first Sunday in 2019 is also the first Sunday in Epiphany.
Epiphany is the third season in the Church Calendar and it follows directly after Christmas. In Advent we anticipate Jesus' second coming by remembering when Jesus came to Israel to be it's Messiah.
While most creches come with the wise men present, church history teaches us that the Men from the East who had followed the start came much later than on the night of Jesus' birth. Sentimentality is what keeps the Magi present in our mangers. They do not belong during Advent or Christmas, but rather during Epiphany.
This year our Epiphany series, "God's Eternal Purpose" take's its title from Ephesians 3: 11 which says, "This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord." We will be wrestling with this passage and seeking to understand what "This" refers to. What is God's eternal purpose? And what is in accordance with God's eternal purpose.
Hopefully as we wrestle with the Epiphany of our Lord we will come to better understand the role of the church as well as our inclusion in the life of the church for in the church we come nearer and nearer to communing with God.