Epiphany, Jan. 6, 2017

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Title:Epiphany, Jan. 6, 2017

 Jan. 6, 2017, the Epiphany (full size gallery)

 

"To God the Father, heavenly Light, to Christ, revealed in earthly night,  to God the Holy Ghost we raise our equal and unceasing praise." – From "What star is this, with beams so bright", verse 5.

We had 15 on January 6, 2017 on a cold winter night with predictions of a light dusting of snow for the next day. The church was drenched in light from the Moravian star, to the vota candles in the windows and to the altar candles. From the Isaiah 60 , "Arise shine for yoru light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you." The readings are here as is the bulletin

The congregation had candles that were lit during the "First Nowell."

"And by the light of that same star
three wise men came from country far;
to seek for a king was their intent,
 and to follow the star wherever it went." 

The Epiphany Eucharistic prayer, especially written for this service, probably provided the main idea of the service. Christ is the light of the world that came at Christmas and now beckons us to travel with Him in 2017. The story of the Epiphany is about discovery—following a star to the source of salvation.Epiphany is filled with unexpected revelations that change our minds and ways – we have to be willing to experience them.

"Bright shining God, inner light of all faithful souls,
we celebrate your gifts of light, love, and all of creation.
We rejoice that you have made us in your image, and touched all of creation with the light of your love.
You call us to live in your limitless love." 

The Magi who had visited Christ realized they had to take a new route home. At a critical moment in their journey, they realized what the lyrics of that song say: "Today is where your book begins. The rest is still unwritten." Changing direction.

The sermon was about the grace of God that filled those involved in the Epiphany story, the magi, the Holy Family. Our role in 2017 is extend it,  searching out  the possibilities. 

From the Eucharistic Prayer – "With each new day, you call us to feed the hungry, bring recovery of sight to the blind, liberate the oppressed, heal the broken hearted and bind up their  wounds, and keep watch for the dawn of your reign on this earth. "

From the Ephesians reading – " through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities."

The sermon concluded with Howard Thurman’s famous poem "The Work of Christmas"

"When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
 The work of Christmas begins: 

"To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart." 

During the communion we had a treat – Karen played her guitar as we sang "What Child is This."   She also played as a prelude to the service. Thanks!

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