Wednesday, January 6, 2016


O God, Who on this day, through the guidance of a star, didst manifest Thine Only-Begotten Son
 to the Gentiles;mercifully grant that we who know Thee now by faith, may one day be brought
 to the contemplation of the beauty of Thy majesty.Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Epiphany, the twelfth day of Christmas, marks the visit of the Wise Men to the young child, Jesus, in a house in Bethlehem.  Because they were not Jews, this day also celebrates the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles, reminding us that salvation is available to all people. 

The Wise Men didn't just bring gold, incense, and myrrh, though. They also brought news of the child king to King Herod, who was deeply troubled by it. So Epiphany also marks the beginning of Jesus' status as a refugee. The very night of the Wise Men's visit brought a dream to Joseph telling him to take his family to Egypt. They escaped before innocent infant and toddler boys were slaughtered in Bethlehem. 

The Bible doesn't tell us anything about Joseph, Mary and Jesus' stay in Egypt, but they returned safely after a few years, so they must have found enough of a welcome to survive. 

I hope that if Jesus' were a refugee today, He would find a welcome here. 

Come to think of it, whenever we help a neighbor in need, we help Jesus. And our neighborhood is the world. 

Just something to think about. 

Happy Epiphany! Hope you find a coin in your slice of cake!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Song for Sunday (belated) Arise, Shine (Darkness Like a Shroud)

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord rises upon you."
                                                                ~Isaiah 60:1 

I have always loved Isaiah 60:1. I titled a sunrise photograph after it once. It's an encouraging verse. 

Graham Kendrick, contemporary Christian music writer and performer, wrote a song based on this verse. We sang it Sunday, the ninth day of Christmas, at our New Year's prayer meeting and the words struck me. Perhaps it's because I love that verse. Perhaps it's because sometimes it feels like the world really is shrouded in darkness with terrorist attacks, the takeover of government buildings, earthquakes in places where I know people, and a multiplicity of funerals. This song reminds us of hope and the light of Christ, which came at Christmas. 

So, I offer it for this week's Song for Sunday. Here's a link:

What songs bring you hope in times of darkness?