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Homily – Feast of the Epiphany in a Time of Pandemic | All Are One Church

Dear Friends,We have moved into a new year–a time of beginnings, of refocus and the hope and challenge to be about all that is best in each of us. We have completed a year filled with much challenge, with sadness and loss and not always a clear path to follow. Our prayer going into this New Year, 2021 might well be that we can keep our eyes on all that unites, turn our backs on all that divides and remember that we don’t do this alone, but that our good God, in Jesus, our brother, walks with us and shows us the way.Please don’t hesitate to call me, 507-429-3616 or email, aaorcc2008@gmail.com if I might be of help in any way. Blessings–peace and love, Pastor Kathy__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Entrance AntiphonToday, Jesus is manifested to the world, as our light, our way, and our truth.Let Us PrayOpening PrayerO God, you revealed the First-Born to the nations by the guidance of a star. You have revealed to people of faith the wonderful fact of the Word made flesh. Your light is strong, your love is near; draw us beyond the limits which this world imposes, to the life where your Spirit makes all life complete. We ask this through Jesus, the Christ, who lives with you and the Spirit, and loves us forever and ever, Amen.__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Readings: Isaiah 60: 1-6 Ephesians 3: 2-3, 5-6 Matthew 2: 1-12HomilyMy friends, the prophetic words of Isaiah today, “Arise, shine, for your light has come,” anchor each of us who say that we follow the Christ, who lived in time—physically manifested as Jesus, our human brother, in what our physical responses must be going forward—to arise, get up and shine—to do our part! The prophet continues—“though night still covers the earth and darkness the people.” In other words, “We aren’t there yet!” The psalmist sheds some “light” or clarity; we might say, on what this, “there” is. “A follower of the light will: be one who rescues the poor when they cry out and the afflicted when they have no one to help—having pity on [them] and saving their lives.” This is the feast of the Epiphany, a word meaning, “manifestation.” This feast, which traditionally ends the official 12 days of Christmas, even though, as this year, it falls before January 6th, is all about sharing our God’s great love for us, in Jesus—with the world. The purpose really, for the astrologers—“the Three Kings”—from the east, is to once again, anchor within our Christian history the fact that Jesus’ love, as a manifestation of God’s love, is meant for all, as these “star-gazers” will then carry the message of what they saw and experienced in Bethlehem back to their own people, and on and on. This message is echoed too by Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, “We are all heirs.” We know that “light attracts light,”—or we might say, “Good attracts good.” Another prophet in our present time, who lived among us for too few years, Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Darkness cannot put out darkness, only light can do that,” gives us another piece of the truth when confronted with evil or darkness in our world. Throughout most of this past year that presented us with so much darkness: a virus uncontrolled—spreading among us, racism—a 400 year-old scar on our humanity, flared by yet another death of a black brother at the hands of the police, a plummeting national economy caused ultimately, by a lack of leadership in controlling the virus and a most contentious presidential election underscored by an unprecedented campaign of lies—the truth of which was proven again and again. My dilemma, as your pastor has been and continues to be, to point you and me to the truth, based on the Scriptures and primarily on the words of our brother Jesus, without at the same time, appearing to be politically-minded, one way or another. Because of the fear of straying into a political versus a spiritual tone, keeping it, “neat and clean,” I don’t always speak as clearly as I should. Today, I would, in the “light” of this feast of, “Great Light” and manifestation, correct that error. You will recall that in the past, I have instructed us all, on many occasions, to keep our eyes, always, as Jesus tells us, “on the fruits” of any action, so as to know how to decide, what is basically right and basically wrong. I recently became aware of a written piece that was done in response to a family letter expressing hope in the New Year for better times and I feel it is indicative of the themes of “dark” versus “light” as we strive to see “the fruits” of words and actions, and it is for this reason that I make the following comments. And just so that you are clear with where I am going; I will name the “fruits,” in my mind, that indicate “light” or good and then those, in my mind, that indicate, “darkness” or evil. Light or good—words that

Source: Homily – Feast of the Epiphany in a Time of Pandemic | All Are One Church

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