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Friday, January 6, 2017

Today's Hymn

What star is this, with beams so bright,
more lovely than the noonday light?
‘Tis sent to announce a newborn king,
glad tidings of our God to bring.

‘Tis now fulfilled what God decreed,
“From Jacob shall a star proceed”;
and lo! the eastern sages stand
to read in heaven the Lord’s command.

While outward signs the star displays,
an inward light the Lord conveys
and urges them, with tender might,
to seek the giver of the light.

O Jesus, while the star of grace
impels us on to seek your face,
let not our slothful hearts refuse
the guidance of your light to use.

Charles Coffin’s “What Star Is This, with Beams So Bright”
trans. John Chandler
from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

Epiphany is my favorite liturgical season. The excitement—and the stress—of the Christmas season are over. The presents have been opened, the Christmas tree has been taken down, the holiday lights are put away. It seems that all we have to look forward to is several months of cold and dreary weather.

But then comes Epiphany; God is made manifest.

On Epiphany, we celebrate the arrival of the magi, the wise men who left the comfort of their palaces to seek the unknown king. Something about the worldly kings paying homage to the newborn Christ completes the manifestation of Jesus’ incarnation on earth. The story does not end at the manger scene; it is only beginning.

The magi read their journey in the “outward star.” We find our calling in the “inward light” Christ has sparked within us. The season of Epiphany is a time of reflection but also of action. Now that the king has arrived, we are to live into the light.

The journey has begun. Let us seek the giver of the light.

Lord God, thank you for bringing your light to the world. Help me to seek your face in this new year. Amen.

Written by Lisa Stracks, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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