Epiphany: Who am I now?
Guidance on using the lectionary.
Lectionary readings for January 7, 2018: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12
Epiphany originated in the Eastern Church in the third century as a feast on January 6 to honor our Lord’s birth and baptism. It ranked with Easter and Pentecost as one of the three principal festivals of the Church and featured the blessing of the baptismal water.
Beginning in the fourth century, the Western Church celebrated Epiphany to commemorate that Christ was manifested to the Magi, who were Gentiles. These wise, royal foreigners remind us that Jesus, King of the Jews, was born for all of us.
The word epiphany has come to mean “a sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something . . . an intuitive grasp of reality . . .”, in addition to its traditional meaning, “the manifestation of God in earthly form.”As we observe Epiphany today, we celebrate the journey to the manger and the showing forth of God in unexpected places.
who am I now?
Once, I was secure
in familiar territory
in my sense of belonging
the norms of my culture
the assumptions built into my language
the values shared by my society.
But now you have called me out and away from home
and I do not know where you are leading.
I am empty, unsure, uncomfortable.
I have only a beckoning star to follow.
pitch your tent with mine
so that I may not become deterred
by hardship, strangeness, doubt.
Show me the movement I must make
toward a wealth not dependent on possessions
toward a wisdom not based on books
toward a strength not bolstered by might
toward a God not confined to heaven
but scandalously earthed, poor, unrecognized…
Help me find myself
as I walk in others’ shoes.
Kate Compston, England, 1990
From Bread of Tomorrow: Prayers for the Church Year