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The Gifts

Dear Cathedral Family,

We come this week to the end of Christmas, and I hope that for you it has been a time of joy in receiving all the gifts of Christmas—joy, peace, love, wonder. I know it has been for me. These gifts from God empower us to give, to release them back into the world during the Epiphany season.

Here is one beautiful example of that giving in action. The gifts that our children collected during their “Reverse Advent Calendar” project have stocked an overflowing supply closet for our food pantry, from which they can be released into a world that is often hungry and cold this time of year. If you haven’t yet contributed items to this ministry, more is always needed.

The Feast of the Epiphany, the day after the last day of Christmas, happens this Saturday. In your daily devotions and prayers that day, I hope that you consider how they can be a model for your life. The wise men carried their gifts on the long, challenging road following Jesus’ star, so that they could find and give thanks for God’s gift of love for the world. They stopped to worship and to receive the blessing of the Holy Family, and then they returned to their homes to bring the Good News of God’s gift to the world. How can you see your experience in theirs, and how can you share the spiritual gifts you have received this Christmas with the people around you every day?

This Sunday, the First Sunday After the Epiphany, we celebrate the baptism of our Lord. We receive even more gifts from Jesus: he opens to us the gift of adoption as God’s children, to be God’s Beloved as he is; and, like him, we receive the gift of the power of the Holy Spirit. That power enables us to keep the covenant with God each of us made in baptism, and it gives us the power to proclaim and share God’s love with the world.

In the Eucharist this season, we acknowledge that God has caused a new light to shine in our hearts. I hope that you feel that light surrounding you as we move into this new year. And I hope that you will bring it to share with all of us gathered on Sunday.



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