Friday, January 05, 2007

Feast of the Epiphany (Twelfth Day of Christmas)

2 Corinthians 4:1-6 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (KJV)

My little children, we did not cause the light to shine, God did. Many today are feeling self-actualized in their ‘theology’, they have convinced themselves and others around them, that they are the enlightenment of their souls and minds, that they have the answers within themselves for life’s problems, that their brand of social interaction and good works is sufficient unto salvation.

But we know better, as we search the Scripture for God’s plan for our lives, His plan for our interactions. Remember the summary of the law from the Mass:

‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it; thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets’.

Too many have perverted these words of Christ to mean that we should love all men, everywhere, and love and accept their sin; that we should work solely to provide for men’s creature comforts and uphold their sinful habits and ways; that we should include everyone, and not those who are unrepentant and fail to accept the mercies of God through Christ for their saving.

We all are sinners, saved by the Grace of God through the shed Blood of Christ; the main difference being that we recognize our sins, bewail them, confess them, repent from them, and accept His sacrifice for them. May we ever be aware of the gift that was given for us, for the Light that shone forth on that first great Epiphany, that ‘Star of Wonder, Star of Light, Star of Heavenly Beauty Bright’, that shone for us, to light our way through our very own dark and dreary world.

May His Grace + rest upon us as we honor His work for us this Octave of the Epiphany.

O 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.
-collect for Epiphany Octave, 1928 BCP

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