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Jan 6 Epiphany of the Lord
Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14
Christianity Takes A Lot of Time 010612
Recently our church began reading prayers and liturgies from the (new) Book of Common Prayer-A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals. The book collects and restates prayers and readings from 2,000 years of Christian disciples and it is wonderful. In particular, it is affirming to read the thoughts and prayers of those who experienced what I’m experiencing in the process of Christian formation. I do not know if I’ll ever be as profound as spiritual as Thomas Merton, the Desert Fathers, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Julian of Norwich and many other wonderful Christians. I doubt I’ll ever be as beautiful a seer or knower as they are, with such a deep sense of Christian faith and love, but it is exciting to feel I’m walking on the same path as they walked upon.
A first easy recognition is that taking the time to pray 3X a day is very time-consuming. I have tried rising before sunrise, having a cup of tea and saying the morning prayer (which excludes encouragement for my personal prayer time), but what about the millions of people that already rise and start work before sunrise? Is it right to ask them to make their long day even longer?
A second realization is that it is hard to get in the habit of praying 3 times a day without a close community that was also praying. It would be easier if the village church’s bell was rung at 6 a.m., 12 noon and 6 p.m. But we don’t often get to do community that way, so we’ve been relying on mutual encouragement by e-mail and telephone. It seems to be going well.
If anyone needs encouragement to pray with us 3 times a day, let me know. I’ll e-mail or call 3 times a day if need be! (smile)
Pray for peace, always,
60Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 2For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. 3Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. 4Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms. 5Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. 6A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.
1Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son.
2May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.
3May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.
4May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.
5May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.
7In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
10May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts.
11May all kings fall down before him, all nations give him service.
12For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper.
13He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.
14From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in his sight.
3This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— 2for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given me for you, 3and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, 4a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. 5In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: 6that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 7Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given me by the working of his power. 8Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, 9and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; 10so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him.
2In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” 3When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 6‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’” 7Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.”
9When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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- Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ: Mt 2:1-12 (modeoflife.org)
- Wise Men from the East and the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord (insightscoop.typepad.com)