Sunday, December 25, 2011
January 1, 2012
Scriptures January 1st: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12. Theme: Epiphany; Isaiah: There is no illusion that those who return to Israel after the exile are coming back to tough times. They know that it will be hard. They know that they have a lot of work to do. And yet they are not prepared for just how hard it is. There is destruction everywhere that they look. It breaks their heart to see the community that they worked so hard to build, in ruins by others who could care less. There is nothing for them to do but to work and to rebuild their lives…one brick at a time. They get a message directly from God, that in the midst of darkness, their light has come. Take it and just move forward. They are to imagine what can be, and not what has happened. The day will come when people from all over will not only come, but will help to rebuild. Matthew: The events of the first Christmas did not happen all at once. It took years for the story as we know it to develop. The last part of our story is the arrival of the three wise men. For Matthew they come almost a year after the baby is born. They come to a house and find him asleep. The point is that they made it. They saw a sign in the sky, and they knew that someone important would be born. They were not Jews, they were not even aspiring Christians. They were wise men waiting for a change. And they wanted to acknowledge that that change had come. The gifts that they gave him, were things that a ruler who lived a long life and hard life would need. Perhaps they are gifts that should be given to Obama. Questions: Where is darkness and destruction today? Where are you frustrated, because you know of the care taken to build, and now you see new owners who don’t seem to care at all? What must we do in order to rebuild our world? The star was a sign of change, what signs of change are present in our world? Do we look forward to change, or are we afraid of it? Who are the three wise men today? What gifts do we give to a king? To our leader? Are they things that the ruler can use to lead us?