Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Upper Room - Epiphany Liturgy 2018

Dennis McDonald, ARCWP and Mary Skelly led the Upper Room Epiphany Liturgy. 

Dennis McDonald's Reflection on Epiphany:

The Gospel of Matthew is being written for a community, most likely in Antioch, at a time when the Christian church in that city included both Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians. The author is promoting unity between the two groups. This information is helpful when we begin to reflect on the parable of the coming of the wise men, wise women, or both, or in our rendition today, astrologers. By the way, there never is a number mentioned of how many came, the number three reflects the number of gifts mentioned. They came the story goes, after “seeing his star in its rising” and they came to pay homage. It is Matthew’s way of introducing the message that not only the Jews but all people, represented by the astrologers from the east, are embraced in the life of Christ Jesus. The Light of the World is a title given to the Christ, it is the light we all reach out to, search for, contemplate to find the true meaning/purpose of our lives.

Many of us have spoken over the past few years of being drawn to this community, of how the Upper Room has been a light in our lives, allowing us to rediscover a path for our spiritual journey. We gather, as companions on the journey, similar to the Magi, who, in the story, saw the star, the beacon, that pulled them, to discover Jesus, the newborn ruler, the one who came to lead in a new way, all who would follow, to relationship with the Divine. Brian Swimme, a scientist who teaches Evolutionary Cosmology, calls this the Theory of Allurement. This theory suggests that there is a power that there is a power at work in the universe that works by alluring one body to another, until eventually all bodies are drawn into the very power that provides the force of allurement. Teilhard de Chardin called the endpoint, the Omega Point, the perfection of all creation.

The Upper Room may be a beacon for us; it is a spiritual resource that helps us to focus on our journey of discovering the light within and around us. It feeds our souls, so that we can, individually, seek and discover the divine light within, assisting us, alluring us to that which is our calling for the world for the movement toward the Omega Point. We are in the midst of allurement, having been pulled together into this community of faith, which feeds and nourishes us. This nourishment comes from breaking open the Word and breaking bread together, symbols of being members of the Body of Christ, the one who invites all to relationship with the Holy One.

What did you hear? Where are you being guided? What will it cost you?

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