Dear Cathedral Family,
Christmas draws to a close this week with the feast of the Epiphany on Friday, celebrating the visit of the magi, or “wise men,” from the east to the infant Jesus. Epithaneia (epiphany) means “manifestation,” and this event is taken to be the manifestation of Jesus to the world.
Those men long ago, thought of as kings because of their precious gifts, were astrologers, studying the stars and planets and interpreting signs from their appearance. This was not an unusual or “wrong” practice, but they were clearly outsiders, gentiles, who nonetheless saw and responded to the sign of the birth of the Messiah.
This manifestation of the Messiah not only to Israel but to the world is in keeping with Matthew’s universal outlook; his gospel concludes with the Great Commission, in which Jesus instructs his disciples to go and “make disciples of the nations.”
We are called to share the magi’s witnessing and sharing of the good news, as well as their joy, reverence, and enthusiasm (even when confronted with obstacles and challenges.) Christ’s light is carried in this world by those who bear his Name, at every age and in every place.
This Sunday, as we celebrate the Baptism of Our Lord, we will welcome two new light bearers into the household of God, Carroll O’Hair Flotte and Thomas Bestor Ward V. They join our growing ranks of children who share with us Christ’s light and love and help us to grow into the people God calls us to be. We give thanks for the opportunity to grow together with them.
During the season after the Epiphany, in January and February, our children will be learning more about the Epiphany traditions of the church and how these bridge the time between Christmas and Lent. For youth and adults, we will be engaging in an opportunity to explore our spiritual gifts, the unique ways that each of us has been given to use in sharing God’s love with the world.
The Dean’s Bible Study and Wednesday Communion of the Simple Presence resume next week, as we move through this season of light together. I look forward to being with you all during this season of our life together.