Sunday, 6 January 2013

Star of wonder

Much as I like the recently deceased Patrick Moore, I refer here to the star of Bethlehem.

The Collect* for this Sunday (Epiphany) begins, O God, which by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only begotten son to the Gentiles.  This old prayer is a reminder to us that unless God had taken the inititiative with us as he did for those Magi of old (in providing the star to lead them to worship the new born Christ), we would still be in spiritual darkness.

'We are Gentiles who know Christ not by sight, as the Magi did, but by faith. Moreover, we are not genetically related, most of us, to Isreal, from whom the Messiah has sprung. So it is in every sense 'by faith' and not by means of something palpable, whether sight or sure inheritance, that we are in relation to God. We are in there by the ''skin of our teeth' or rather, by his own free decision to make us His. We had nothing to do with it' (Barbie and Zahl)
It's very humbling to realise that we have not so much chosen Him, as that He has chosen us.

'O God may you shine your light into the hearts of all my friends and family who have not yet come to know you. For unless you open  eyes we remain blind to the wonder of your gift of Christ for us'.

*The Collects are a collection of prayers formalised into the Prayer Book (The book of Common Prayer) of the Anglican Church in 1549 and gathered together by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. The collects were regarded as a 'collecting up' of the petitions of individual members of the congregation into one prayer.
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