9 01 2016


Epiphany – LectionaryLens

7 01 2016

Matthew 2:1-12
Today begins the season of Epiphany, a time when our focus is on the revelation of God as a human being in Jesus. This is the day that celebrates the arrival of the Magi, to worship Christ the Lord.  
As a parent I suppose there are always things we look back on and wish we could do differently – having a greater focus on the Christian calendar rather than the Hallmark calendar is one of those changes I would make if I were doing things over. The story of the Magi has so much potential for learning within it; following the light of truth as we pursue God, bringing our best gift as worship, discerning truth, accepting change…lots of lessons contained in their story.

One tradition that marks Epiphany is the chalking of the door. It is a tradition that comes from the welcome that Mary and Joseph extended to the Magi into their home. As Christians, we invite Jesus to daily dwell in our home with us, and to be a participant in all that happens in our home. Our conversations, our comings and goings, the decisions that are made regarding our home and family. We ask Him to bless our home and all that happens therein. The way we can symbolize this with our family is taking chalk and marking the header of our front door; 20 + C + M + B + 16. The markings bookends, 20, 16 is the year we are entering. The letters, C,M,B represent two things, first the initials of the names traditionally given to the Magi; Caspar, Melchior, Balthazar. It also stands for the latin phrase, Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless the house.” The + signs represent the cross, which is always present in our view of Jesus.  

Make this a time when your family gathers together for a few moments, acknowledging the end of the Christmas season with the arrival of the wise men, and a family prayer asking for God’s blessing on your home through the coming year.  

As you see the chalk inscription each day, let yourself be reminded that you have invited God to be present in all that happens in your home. And as the chalk fades with time, remember that physical possessions are always temporary and they are always secondary to things of eternal value.


Gift – Advent & Christmas Photos (2015#35)

6 01 2016

Another Christmastide has passed, the Magi have arrived at the home of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus with their gifts for the Christchild; the calendar moves forward to Epiphany. Such is the nature of time. And though we may at times wish for a way to slow its pace, I want to always be careful to view each day as a gift. A gift that was not extended to 151,000 souls. Each day will hold new challenges, I may have entered today as a caterpillar, and tomorrow will wake to discover that my world has forever changed, but I want always to see the arrival of another day as a priceless gift. A gift to be treasured, not wished away, not squandered in frivolous wastefulness that bears no eternal fruit. I will never earn the right to another day, I don’t deserve to have one more opportunity to experience the changing beauty that is this life, it is always, only a gift. May God help me to see its glorious opportunity, the breathtaking potential for me to fly. And may my attitude ever be one of joyful gratitude, for the gift of today.

Star – Advent & Christmas Photos (2015#34)

5 01 2016

There’s an awful lot we don’t know about the three wise men, hanging out at the edge of the creche. We do know however,what prompted their visit to Jesus; they had seen his star in the sky, and that little tidbit holds so much instruction and encouragement.  
Did you ever stop to wonder if anyone else saw that same star? After all, the whole world would have been looking up at the same sky. Do you think the reason they saw God’s revelation is because they were looking for it? Or maybe others did see the star, but didn’t want to stop whatever they were doing to follow it. As we approach the celebration of Epiphany, the wise men’s star inspires me to look for divine revelation amongst the the trappings of every day life; in the ebb & flow of the surf, in the questions of a child, in the words of a friend, in the pages of a book, in the stars shining in the night sky. I want to see my Savior revealed, and I want to run hard after Him.


See – Advent & Christmas Photos (2015#34)

4 01 2016

Matthew 5:6


Travel – Advent & Christmas Photos (2015#33)

3 01 2016

When you look at the Advent/Christmas story, its interesting to notice how much of that story involves travel. Mary and Joseph had to leave home and travel to Bethlehem. The shepherds had to leave their fields and travel into town. Forty days after his birth, Mary and Joseph traveled to the Temple to present Jesus, as the Torah instructed, for the redemption of the firstborn (Candlemas on the Christian calendar, Feb 2nd.) The Magi traveled a great distance from the east to worship Jesus (Epiphany on the Christian Calendar, Jan. 6th.) Someone is always moving from their current location throughout the whole Advent/Christmas season.   

We should probably consider the possibility that this season may also require us to travel, to move from where we are currently located. I’m not talking about in the physical/literal sense (although that may be part of it,) but spiritually – will this coming of the Christ require us, require me to move from where I am right now? Almost certainly, yes!  

Are you ready to travel somewhere new this year? Are you willing to follow, wherever the road may lead? It may not always be comfortable, and it may not always be quick, but the destination will absolutely be worth the challenge of the journey.


New – Advent & Christmas Photos (2015#33)

2 01 2016

My verse for 2016

Revelation 21:5