EPIPHANY MEANS "MANIFESTATION." ON THIS DAY WE CELEBRATE THE REVELATION OF CHRIST TO THE GENTILES--THAT IS, TO ALL NATIONS. SOME CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS CELEBRATE THREE GREAT EPIPHANIES ON THIS FEAST; THE MAGI'S ADORATION OF THE CHRIST CHILD, JESUS' BAPTISM IN THE JORDAN RIVER BY JOHN, AND HIS FIRST MIRACLE IN WHICH HE CHANGES WATER IN WINE. THE WORD AND SACRAMENTS ARE FOR US THE GREAT EPIPHANY OF GOD'S GRACE AND MERCY. WE GO FORTH TO WITNESS TO THE LIGHT THAT SHINES BRIGHTLY IN OUR MIDST.
ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 1, WE WILL CELEBRATE THE FEAST OF THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS. FORMERLY KNOWN AS "THE CIRCUMCISION AND NAME OF JESUS", THIS FEAST HAS ROOTS BACK TO THE SIXTH CENTURY. THE PREVIOUS EMPHASIS WAS ON THE CIRCUMCISION OF JESUS, BEING BASED ON THE JEWISH TRADITION OF THE CIRCUMCISION AND FORMAL NAMING OF JEWISH BOYS ON THE EIGTH DAY FOLLOWING BIRTH. THIS WAS THE MARK OF THE COVENANT BETWEEN GOD AND ISRAEL, AND, IN CHRISTIAN THOUGHT, INDICATES THAT JESUS BEARS THIS MARK AS, THROUGH THE SHEDDING OF HIS BLOOD ON THE CROSS, HE MAKES THE COVENANT NEW WITH ALL PEOPLE.
CHRISTMAS EVE: CANDLELIGHT SERVICE WITH EUCHARIST 6:00 PM SATURDAY DECEMBER 24, 2016
CHRISTMAS DAY SERVICE: 10:00 AM HOLY EUCHARIST
I think it is important for those who name the name of Christ to reflect and pray deeply during this time of great political controversy and divide in our country. We do this, not simply from a particular political point of view, but as those who seek to be witnesses to Christ, regardless of our particular political ideas.
As Christians we begin with the conviction that : ”government is God’s instrument for caring for the people.” (David Lose, In the Meantime.com) People have different points of view as to how that is best done and carried out in the world.