Prayer: Amid the everyday activities of life, open our eyes O LORD that we may see Your love. Open our ears to hear Your word, that we may know Your presence made known in Your Word this day. Open our hearts so that Your Son, our Saviour, is revealed to us. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
Read James 1: 12Yesterday we celebrated the Church Season of Epiphany. Being home on a Sunday still recouping from surgery, I click on St Patrick's Cathedral New York live worship. This Sunday Cardinal Timothy Dolan said that Epiphany is the revealing of our Saviour to all nations and all peoples.
The coming of the Wise Men to find the Infant Christ Child, bending down in worship and offering him gifts is the Epiphany... the revealing of Christ to all. We read of this story each year. Somehow over the years we have put the Wise Men arriving the same day as the shepherds. But this is not so. In the Gospel according to St Matthew, the Wise Men arrive to the house and find the child Jesus and his mother Mary. The Wise Men are overjoyed. We are not told how long it took the Wise Men to get from where they lived to where the Holy Family was in Bethlehem, but it wasn't just a day or two. The Wise Men went on a long journey.
I often wonder if the Wise Men knew how long their journey would be when they started out. Probably they had no idea how long they would have to journey to find the Infant King. We have no idea what they had to do as they persevered on their journey, but they did persevere. We have no idea of the trials they endured on the journey. In today's reading in James, we read "blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him" (NIV James 1: 12. Zondervan, 1983).
The Wise Men are awesome examples to us of how to persevere on our life's journey. We don't know what to except but with our love of God, we can greet each day in Christ's care. When life seems too tough, we read the stories of those who persevered and this gives us hope. James says to persevere! Stay the course! God is with you in everything that you do. Never think that God sends trials and little black clouds upon you. God brings us life and love.
As we stand on the newness of 2014, what new journeys will you begin in the name of Christ? My husband, Glenn, has begun a new journey. He has been called to St Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Brandon Manitoba. The Session and Board and congregation and Glenn will together this year step forth on a great journey -- an Epiphany -- in sharing the love of God with the community.
Prayer: Great God, I thank You that You are with me in all that I say and I that I do. And when the burden of situations or relationships become too great for me, remind me that You take all my burdens and hold me, surrounded by Your love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.