on the chancel steps

The Light of the World


for Sunday, January 6, 2013
Epiphany of the Lord
Year C
lectionary focus: Matthew 2:1-12
prop: an assortment of light bulbs
inspiration: Mudhouse Sabbath by  Lauren F. Winner (Paraclete Press, 2003) “hadlakat nerot / candle-lighting”

Today I brought some light bulbs. (Talk about whatever kind of light bulbs you bring and the amazing way this source of light works.) Now this kind of light from a bulb in a lamp has been around for less than 150 years. Before electric lights, people used gas lights and lanterns and torches and candles and oil lamps or…they just went to bed when the sun went down and it got dark. Without light, we cannot see our way in the world.

Today we celebrate Epiphany and we read the Bible story of the Wise Men meeting Baby Jesus. We note the importance of the shining star…“And there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen…until it stopped over the place where the child was.” The light of the star led the Wise Men to Jesus.

We are thankful for the star that led the Wise Men. We are thankful for these lights here in church. Whether it be starlight or light bulbs, the Sun or candles, throughout time, we have known the importance of light: light helps us see our way in the world.

And because we know the importance of light, we call Jesus the Light of the World. With Jesus, we can see our way in the world.

And by carrying Jesus in our hearts, we are not only able to see our way, but we are able to see each other and therein, we are able to help each other.

This focus on light is a good reminder to us right now. In winter, the days are shorter and darker. It’s January…Christmas is over; the presents are all opened; the food is all eaten; our families have gone home; the decorations are put away; we are back in school. But though the Advent candles are no more, we always have the Light of Jesus to help us see our way in the world and to help us see each other.

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)

Dear Lord,
Thank You
for light bulbs.
Thank You
for Jesus,
the Light of the World.
Help us
to see our way in the world
and to see each other.

We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.