January 6, the Day of the Epiphany of Our Lord, should have been a day of celebration in the life of the church. Instead, we watched in fear and horror as our country’s Capital building was broken into, and our members of Congress sheltered in place in fear for their lives.
Today, let us be grateful that our democracy survived. Let us be thankful to our Senators and Representatives who returned to work after having been evacuated, and who stayed until 4:00 am to fulfill their constitutional responsibility. Let us be in prayer for the families of those who died, and let us pray for healing for the many who were injured.
Epiphany is a day celebrating the revelation of the incarnation of God in the human flesh of Jesus. It commemorates the visit of the Wise Men and the gifts and homage they paid to a Jewish King. It’s a significant event in the life of the Church because it reminds us that when God came to dwell with us in human form God’s love and presence was made known not just to the people of Israel, but to the gentiles as well. Our Creator God is revealed as the God of all the people.
I pray we’ll take a lesson from Epiphany, and remember that when we think we’re divided, God’s love ultimately unites us. When we think we have some unique claim to God’s grace, God’s manifestation becomes available for all people. And when we find ourselves in the midst of darkness and despair, God’s presence in Jesus becomes a light for all the world.
Will you pray with me this 13th century prayer from Francis of Assisi, Italy?
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness light; and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.