Our Director, Angus Ritchie, blogs on three simple ways the Epiphany can shape our ministry in 2016…
As many people return to work after a Christmas break, the Feast of the Epiphany – “the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles” – is a timely reminder that, for Christians, 25 December was the beginning of something, rather than just the end of a period of waiting for our presents.
There are three features of the Epiphany which are of particular relevance to the Church today, as we begin another year of ministry and mission…
Firstly, the Spirit is working in people far beyond our walls. There is an excellent meditation by Pray as You Go on the Epiphany Gospel, which invites us to ponder what this means for the way we share the Christian message.
How do we help people outside the Church to recognise the One they may already experience and desire?
Secondly, Christ’s reign disturbs this world’s powers. The wise men bring gold and frankincense – gifts Herods and Caesars would have thought were rightly theirs. That, of course, is why they also bring myrrh, and why the visit of the wise men leads on to the slaughter of the Holy Innocents.
Are the powers of this world disturbed by our discipleship today? If not, why not?
Thirdly, the Holy Family are forced to travel to Egypt as refugees – reinforcing the good news of the Christmas Gospels that God comes to earth in the midst of persecution, poverty and vulnerability. Archbishop Justin’s New Year message helps us to recognise what that means for us today – and CTC has produced a number of resources to help churches respond to refugees today.
What gifts do you and your local church have? How can they be harnessed to show hospitality to those in need today – and to experience them too as bearers of God’s grace?