Articles

Epiphany: A Message from the Dean

JANUARY 5, 2016

“Dignity consists not in possessing honors,
but in the consciousness that we deserve them.” –Aristotle

The Twelve Days of Christmas offer a relatively brief time for reflection on the Gift.

We always know that Christmas will occur on the 25th of December, but what day of the week that falls on in a given year determines whether there are one or two Sundays before the Feast of the Epiphany – the 12th and final day of Christmas. I’m often saddened when we do not have occasion to hear the Collect of the Second Sunday after Christmas:

O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

In God’s decision to become fully human in Jesus of Nazareth, something decisive happened to human nature and to human history. Now unfold the weeks of signs and manifestations—the many epiphanies by which we come to understand more fully what God is up to in this radical touching of human and divine, heaven and earth.

Why can’t we see the connection? That the human and the divine meet is a response to the question, “What can we do when the Star fades to keep the Spirit of Christmas alive in and among us?”

Former Cathedral Canon Howard Thurmon expressed the nature of our vocation in his poem, "The Work of Christmas":

When the star in the sky is gone,
When the Kings and Princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins.
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry
To release the prisoner,
To teach the nations,
To bring Christ to all,
To make music in the heart.

Greetings from this great Cathedral—keep following the Star!