What a long title for a simple
thought. The Epiphany is the title
of the feast recalling the arrival of the Magi to pay homage to the Lord
Jesus. Epiphany means revealing or
becoming aware. Our Lord was
revealed first to the Hebrews through the shepherds. The first gentiles (non-Hebrews) to whom He was first
revealed were the Magi or Wise Men who came from afar to pay Him honor.
Epiphany is a fixed day, it is always the Sixth of
January, twelve or thirteen days after Christmas Day, depending on how you
With a light rain falling and 33°F at what should have
been sunrise, we were in the midst of a California winter. Yet, weather notwithstanding, we had 3
people to worship the Lord.
The Propers are the same each
year, except if a Red Letter Feast, that is one with Propers in the prayerbook,
falls on a Sunday, then those Propers are to be read instead, with the Collect
for the actual Sunday read also.
Some days are particularly special, such as the Epiphany, and the
Collect is read for eight days (the legendary Octave) The Propers for the Epiphany are found on Page
107-109 with the Collect first:
The Epiphany, or the Manifestation of Christ
GOD, who by the leading of a star
didst manifest thy only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; Mercifully grant that we,
who know thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of thy
glorious Godhead; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
¶ This Collect is to be said daily throughout the Octave
Dru Arnold read the Epistle for
the evening, which came from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians
beginning at the First Verse of the Third Chapter:
OR this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you
Gentiles, if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God, which is
given me to you-ward: how that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery;
(as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my
knowledge in the mystery of Christ) which in other ages was not made known unto
the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by
the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and
partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: whereof I was made a
minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the
effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all
saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the
unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship
of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who
created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the
principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the
manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in
Christ Jesus our Lord: in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by
the faith of him.
Hap Arnold read the Gospel for
the evening which came from the Gospel of Saint Matthew, the Second Chapter
beginning at the First Verse:
HEN Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa, in the days of Herod the
king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is
he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and
are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was
troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief
priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ
should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judæa: for thus it is
written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the
least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall
rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men,
enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to
Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye
have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When
they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in
the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child
was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when
they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother,
and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures,
they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being
warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed
into their own country another way.
The Epiphany service was not much
different than that first Epiphany.
Except this time there was one wise woman and two wise guys! Most important, Jesus was there! We had a great time worshipping. Join us some time, it is a lot of
fun. It seems as if there is
always plenty of room in the inn when there is church service going on. Cold outside, though!
Sermon – Reverend Jack Arnold - Time and
Through the leading of the star,
the wise men from Persia (modern day Iran) were led to seek the Christ Child.
This was the “revealing” of Christ to the Gentiles, and the first such event.
Though he mainly ministered to the Jews of Israel, it is important that he
ministered to the Roman governor and the Faithful Centurion (from which our
parish gets its name) whom were Gentiles.
Though the Apostles in the early
church did not think that ministering to the Gentiles was worthy, through the
actions of St. Paul, The Word began spreading to the Gentiles. Paul says in his
Epistle that the time has come that we should start spreading to the Gentiles,
and bring our gifts (talents) to His Service (as our talents are on loan from
God, as Rush Limbaugh says) and use them accordingly to further His purpose on
Paul also said that he was
charged by God to bring The Word to all, not just the Jews. The time was now
ripe to expand past the original target market (the Jews), and to spread it to
all. He said that he wished to explain the mysteries (The Word) of God to all,
including the Gentiles, that they might see and hear The Word.
In the Gospel, Herod tries to
entice the wise-men to find the Christ child and report His whereabouts to him
that, he claims “that I will come and will worship him.”, but like most modern
leaders of the world today, his words were duplicitous in nature. “I will come
and worship him” translated to that he would come and murder Christ, as he did
the Holy Innocents, while Christ was in Egypt.
The wise—men however, fortunately, were warned in a
dream, after visiting the Christ child, by God, of Herod’s true intentions, and
went home a different way, that they would avoid a confrontation with Herod. They brought him frankincense, incense
and myrrh. In a way, they did what Paul talked about and brought Him “gifts”
for His Service. Now we do not know if these gifts were ever used in Christ’s
life. But, like present time gift giving, it is not necessarily the gifts that
are important. It is the thought and the meaning behind the giving of gifts
that could the most.
Now in this troubled time, we
must be ready to bring our talents to Him, to use for His Glory and to Spread
His Word. In this time, we must spread The Word and without ceasing praise Him
and His Majesty. In order to institute a turn around of the moral decay, we
must first act. If we do not act, then how can we expect to stem the tide of
the moral decay. We must act with steadfast purpose.
This may require some courage on
our behalf, as we will get mocked and perhaps in this troubled time, may come a
day, where we like the apostles are thrown in jail. However scary this time may
be for spreading His Word, no matter how hostile it is, we must do it anyway.
We must be like the men who brought freedom to this land, who defended our
country when its freedom was threatened in all its wars from the War of
Independence, through to the present, having been reading recently a lot on
World War II, I think of the fear that must have gone through the hearts of
those who participated in the amphibious assaults of D-Day, Tarawa, Peleleiu,
Guam, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Yet, they did what was to be done.
Proper action under very fearful circumstances, doing what must be done.
The important thing to remember
about these men is they showed steadfast purpose and courage. It was a nerve
racking thing as one approached a foreign beach of an island/land, not knowing
what hell the enemy planned. But, the important lesson is that they stepped
their boots forward into danger, knowing that they would most likely pay for
this advance with their lives.
As they stepped forward into
danger, we must step forward into this hostile world, and charge forward against
the fire of the hostile media and people, whose hearts have been turned to
stone. We must charge against them, using The Word as our defense and our
offense against Satan. The greatest defense is the best offense. And we truly
have both in The Word of God. We must remember that God wants everybody to
follow Him, not just certain ethnic groups (like the Jews), and that we must
concentrate on spreading His Word, through bringing our Gifts and Talents to
Be of God
- Live of God - Act of God
Post a Comment