Day Twelve — Friday 5 January 2018

The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us. O come, let us worship. Alleluia


1 John 3.11-21 | Psalm 100 | John 1.43-51

Vigil of the Epiphany
Psalm 19 | 2 Samuel 22.47-51 | Romans 15.8-21 |


Adoration of the Magi.
Painted by Benedictine monks in the late 1800s in the German Beuronese stye.
Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Montana.


The evening of this day is Twelfth night, the end of the Christmas season and the prelude to the season of Epiphany or "revelation," which celebrates the moments when we become newly aware of God at work in our world, meeting us even in the midst of our everyday lives.

The Twelfth Day is traditionally the time to clear out the evergreens brought indoors to decorate for Christmas. The speaker of this poem, working through this chore and momentarily blinded by the low winter sun, rediscovers the grace of Incarnation—God's daring to become one of us in the Baby of Bethlehem—and the hope of epiphany.

Light comes back
as it always does
just before Christmas Day
like finding a treasured keepsake
forgotten in attic recesses
and I start to think about Hoovering up
brittle evergreen needles,
lingering the stubborn ones
out from a woolly carpet's fibres.
Light comes back
with a promise
silent as the stars—
this simple, tender flesh
covering our hands
wrinkling our knees
layering our faces
shall be seen
revealed as a divine gift
for this world
indeed, an epiphany.
— L. William Countryman, Run, Shepherds, Run: Poems for Advent and Christmas, (New York: Church Publishing, 2005). The poem, "A Silent Promise," is by Jay Emerson Johnson.


We pray, O Lord, that you purify our hearts to be worthy to be your dwelling place. Let us never fail to find room for you, but come and abide in us that we also may abide in you, who at this time was born into the world for us, and lives and reigns, King of kings and Lord of lords, now and for ever.
—William Temple.

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963).
Four Motets for Christmas: III. Videntes stellam.
Voces 8.

Videntes stellam Magi
gavisi sunt gaudio magno:
et intrantes domum
obtulerunt Domino aurum,
thus et myrrham.
Seeing the star, the wise men
were overwhelmed with great joy;
and entering the dwelling,
they offered to the Lord
gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

May the Lord, who has called out of darkness into his marvellous light, bless us and fill us with peace. Amen.

St Philip's Anglican Church,
cnr Moorhouse and Macpherson Streets, O'Connor, ACT 2602.