Day Nine — 2 January

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

Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nazianzus, bishops, and teachers (4th century)

Readings (Click the links to see the readings)

| 1 John 2.22-28 | Psalm 98.1-6 | John 1.19-28

Cappadocians

Basil (330-79), bishop of Caesarea; Gregory (c.332-95), bishop of Nyssa; and Gregory of Nazianzus (329-89), Patriarch of Constantinople. Known as the Cappadocian Fathers, they made important contributions our understanding of the Trinity, as settled in the Nicene Creed.

Isaac Watt's words for the carol "Joy to the world" are based on today's psalm, Psalm 98. Music by Lowell Mason, adapted from a theme by GF Handel. The Cambridge Singers, directed by John Rutter.

Reflection

Celebrating the birth of Jesus is an incredible opportunity for all Christians to begin again —be born again—to a life of transformation, first of ourselves and then as instruments of transformation in the world.

…this season invites us to travel toward the light so that we might see what it reveals. But it also compels us to bring all our gifts, no matter how humble, to honour Jesus and all that Jesus stands for in our lives and the world.

A star both announces and guides the wise men as they travel to be witnesses to the birth of Jesus. They bring to him gifts that represent the best of what they can give yet humbly pale in comparison to the great gift Jesus promises to be for the world. They logically seek their "king" first coming through Jerusalem. But as the story tells us, they are met with fear.

Their encounter with Herod illuminates how fear can prevent us from seeing what might bring us closer to God and living out our call to be followers of Jesus. …

Isaiah calls us to "Arise, shine; for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. … Lift up your eyes and look around." Indeed we are called to look around us, to be enlightened by what we see, and to offer all our gifts humbly honoring every part of creation. …

Light is a symbol commonly used in ceremonies and liturgies to signify a light in God's world. But it can only shine brightly through us and our actions. Light makes things more visible, and our scripture reading demands that we acknowledge the needs of the poor and come out from the dark places that represent complacency and false peace.

This prayer is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi: "Most high, glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me, Lord, a right faith, a certain hope, a perfect charity. Give me, Lord, wisdom and discernment, so that I may carry out your true and holy will. Amen."

Rather than allowing fear to dampen our spirit or darken the day, we have an opportunity to see the light that is directing our path toward the promised kingdom, revealed to us when we see the face of Christ in each other. …

As we live into these seasons and recall our baptismal covenant, may we arise and shine to see the glory of God possible and do what is needed.
Rev. Debbie Royals

Prayer

Almighty and everlasting God, you have stooped to raise fallen humanity by the child-bearing of blessed Mary; grant that we who have seen your glory revealed in our human nature, and your love made perfect in our weakness, may daily be renewed in your image, and conformed to the pattern of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
—David Silk

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, corner Moorhouse and Macpherson Streets, O'Connor, ACT 2602
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