St. Francis – Gary Kester

On the Christian calendar, January 6 is Epiphany, defined as a Christian festival commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles in the persons of the Magi. The word itself is Greek for ‘manifestation’ or ‘showing forth’, Christ being shown to the world.  

Today was a day on which Epiphany actually fell on Sunday and is the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas in English tradition.  The introduction of Christ to the world actually is in three parts: first, the Annunciation; then, the birth itself; then, the coming of the Magi or Wise Men who were the scholars and scientists of their time.  The gifts they bring have symbolic meaning. Gold is royalty & wealth. Frankincense was a valuable spice not available to the poor. Myrrh is a spice used in burial, foreshadowing Christ’s death and suffering.  The Magi are the first to recognize Christ’s universal mission and their arrival establishes the time & place of His birth.

In the Epistle for the day, Ephesians 3:1, Paul tells us of his mission to the Gentiles, a Jew born to preach to those outside Jewish tradition and culture.  He talks about the mystery of God’s grace and that everyone is heir to God’s Kingdom through Jesus. The basic meaning of Epiphany is the universality of Christ and His manifestation to the world continues in the Christian church. 

In announcements, Bishop Hartley noted that January is the forty-first anniversary of the founding of the St. Francis congregation, and in prayer time said the birthday prayer for Andy Hartley whose birthday is January 9.  We are glad to have Judy McSwain back with us recovering & doing well after her surgery, and it was good to have Laura Berthold and Chandler Connell with us before they leave on their careers

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