Monday, 6 January 2014

Monday - Epiphany and perseverance

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: 12
Yesterday  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.

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