A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.

Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Prayers of the People: It's Magi-cal Time ~ 2nd Sunday after Christmas Day/Readings for Epiphany Yr A '20

For Sunday, January 5, 2020 ~ Readings: Isaiah 60:1-6, Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12, Matthew 2:1-12

    Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you…Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. [Isaiah 60:1, 3]

   For he shall deliver the poor who cries out in distress, and the oppressed who has no helper.   [Psalm 72:12]

    Of this gospel I have become a servant accord to the gift of God’s grace…This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him. [Ephesians 3:7a,11-12]

  “Go and search diligently for the child…” When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. [Matthew 2:8b, 10]

     Twelfth Night has arrived. Now is the time to put the Magi/Wise Men into the family Nativity Scene; well, except they're either already there or part of all that is now being packed away for another year. The Epiphany – a sudden intuitive understanding – is also a theophany – the manifestation of God visible to humans such as the shepherds, and Magi, and later to those who knew Jesus in his human life and beyond. Yet, for many of us, this gleaming incarnation has, perhaps, lost its luster. We have come through the four weeks of anticipation in Advent, the hustle and bustle of preparation for gifts and food and gatherings, followed by the pageantry and the glorious music of Christmas Eve and the “magic” of Christmas Day. Then comes the usual “let down.”
      Epiphany, January 6, is the day that Christmas and the Baptism of Jesus are celebrated in many Orthodox traditions. More often, in the western Christian denominations where it is recognized, it has been reduced to an anti-climax. However, Epiphany as the end of Christmas is also the beginning of our journey to the Risen Christ.
     In the compression of time given in the Gospels and the Church calendar, it is a short season indeed before we begin the unfolding of the ministry, miracles, teaching, sacrificial death, and glorious resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. Before all that, let us rediscover the astonishment, the amazement, the true adoration in this event. It is a new dawn, another chance to listen and to hear deep within. The Epiphany moves us into the reason for which this Child was born; the revelation of God’s eternal purpose is truly upon us.
     Let us keep watch again this night with the Three Kings, engage with the experience of being overwhelmed with joy, and understand the Magi-cal gifts the Kings presented to this sacred Child. Gold is symbolic of Christ as King and Frankincense speaks to His Divinity. But what of Myrrhits bitter perfume, breathes a life of gathering gloom, a medicinal spice used often in those times to anoint the dead. Kingship, Divinity, Foreboding....
    Come, let us adore Him Who is the heartbeat of God. Let us search diligently for the Child within us and around us that call us to pay homage and follow. Epiphany is the time to seek the Magi-cal gifts we’ve each been given and to begin again to live into the light and life of Christ in boldness and confidence through faith in him
    It's Magi-cal time. Arise, shine; for your Light has come!


Leader:  ~ Holy Messiah, Heartbeat of God, as we arise in the shining Light of Your glory, lift up our eyes and gather us to You, to seek and know the joy that You bring to us again and again, as heirs to Your eternal promise.

                                                         Jesus, Light of Our Souls
RESPONSE:                    Our Hope and our Redeemer

~ Holy Jesus, Heartbeat of God, draw all nations to come to Your light, and all leaders of governments to the brightness of Your dawn. Grant them the courage to rule with righteousness, compassion, and peace to reverse the damage of violence and injustice in our own time. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Jesus, Light of Our Souls
                                                       Our Hope and our Redeemer

~ Holy Jesus, Heartbeat of God, shine through the pain of all who suffer in body, mind, or spirit, and comfort all who give them care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions
                                                       Jesus, Light of Our Souls
                                                       Our Hope and our Redeemer
~ Holy Jesus, Heartbeat of God, calm the sorrows of all who grieve as those we loved in this life now live in the glory of a radiant eternity with You. We pray especially for… add your own petitions

                                                       Jesus, Light of Our Souls
                                                       Our Hope and our Redeemer

~ Holy Jesus, Heartbeat of God, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently… add your own petitions
                                                       Jesus, Light of Our Souls
                                                       Our Hope and our Redeemer
~ Holy Jesus, Heartbeat of God, lavish special blessings upon the wise women and men who lead us in Your Church, as they prayerfully bring us Your words, works, and wonders on our life’s path toward Redemption. We pray especially for: add your own petitions
                                                       Jesus, Light of Our Souls
                                                       Our Hope and our Redeemer
The Celebrant adds:  Most Holy Christ, God’s Eternal Purpose, quicken our desire to be Your servants according to the gift of God’s grace, and with bold and confident faith to offer Your Good News through all that we are and all that we do. We ask with deep humility and hope through our Almighty Creator, and the Holy Spirit, who together with You are One God, now and beyond the time that the Moon is no more. Amen. 

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