Our collect reminds us that through Christ, God has "restored the dignity of human nature," and we pray that "we may share in the divine life" of the One who humbled himself for us. The lessons appointed for this Sunday center around being led by The Lord to our "home" in Him. The prophet Jeremiah gives a poetic account of how God leads his people home to the place promised to them: "I will let them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I have become a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn." Paul sets out his glorious vision of the Church in his letter to the Ephesians, establishing Christ as the mediator of God's blessings--"He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will"--and offering thanksgiving for the wisdom and power that are made available to us as we come to know Him. Our gospel lesson is the continuation of Matthew's account of the birth of Jesus. Wise men from the East have seen the star of Jesus' appearing and have journeyed to Jerusalem to find the child who has been born "king of the Jews." Frightened at their news, King Herod calls together his own counsel of wisdom and asks where the prophets say this child is to be born. He sends the visitors from the East on to the prophesied place, Bethlehem, asking that they return with news about the child. Arriving at the place where the star stops, the wise men are "overwhelmed with joy"; they see Jesus with his mother Mary, and they kneel before him and offer the precious gifts they have brought with them. Then, warned in a dream not to return to Herod, "they left for their own country by another road."
How are we being led by the light of Christ that has come into the world? As this new year unfolds, I would invite you to join me in reading the Bible daily and asking God to open our hearts and minds to the place prepared for us in the great divine story of God's love for humanity. What ways of living do you feel drawn toward as you consider your own life in the light of that love? How can we, in our shared life at Christ Church Cathedral, invite others in our community and throughout our diocese to experience that love?