Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, January 11, 2016

Epiphany Musings - redux from a previous Rector's Rambling - January 10, 2016

The the Rector away on holiday this Sunday, this is a reprint of a previous Sunday after Epiphany Rector's Rambling.

This past Wednesday we celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany.  Some years the sixth of January falls on a Sunday so we get to celebrate it at our regular Sunday worship.  But this year it fell on a Wednesday, and as one can expect, it was a slightly smaller gathering of people then if it were on a Sunday!
Every year when we do our children’s Christmas Pageant inevitably someone asks, “where are the wise men?”  At the Christmas Pageant the children are dressed as angels, shepherds, Mary and Joseph and that is plenty of story to tell!
But the wise men are a part of another story.  At Christmas the shepherds coming to see the child Jesus represent for us the people of God’s original covenant, the Hebrews.  They come and adore him on bended knee and worship him as Lord and King.
The Prayer Book calls this feast not only The Epiphany, but also “the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles”.  Thirteen days after Christmas the wise men (Magi) arrive, representing the various nations outside that original covenant.  They represent us (well, at least most of us) who are gentiles (not Jews).  The Star they follow is a sign of the birth of this new king, one that will be King of all.
Today’s lessons have us jump head a dozen years, to the finding of Jesus in the Temple.  As a fellow seminarian once called it in a chapel sermon, “the original HOME ALONE” episode.   Jesus, growing toward adulthood, goes with his family to the Temple – the central location of Jewish worship, sacrifice, and devotion, and stays behind to be with his father (heavenly father).  However, being a good Jew who honors his Mother and Father, he returns to Nazareth to grow in stature until the time that he is made manifest publicly at age 30.
Epiphany is a SEASON.  May we in the coming weeks be drawn to be with our heavenly Father in the “temple” of the life of prayer, in the temple of the Sacrament of His Son’s body and blood, and in the temple of our hearts where He is present in the person of the Holy Ghost!