Epiphany +2: Resurrection Wine

A weekly Epiphany devotional post for these 8 weeks of witness. Join us!

You can read here for a brief description of the liturgical season of Epiphany, and see previous Epiphany daybook 2019 posts here. Blessed Epiphany, friends!

Note: If you're reading this in email, the formatting usually looks much better at the website. Just click the post title to get there.


Look: Epiphany in the New Jerusalem, Jyoti Sahi

( Source )

This year, as I’ve been meditating on the first miracle of Christ at the Wedding of Cana, I’ve been caught up in the sheer unnecessary joy of this act. Like Christ couldn’t help but add to the beauty of the day with full-bodied wine from plain well water. Like Jesus looks at the faces of the wedding guests and sees the friends he’ll feast with again at a wedding day yet-to-come. Like he wants a fruity swallow of resurrection wine before stepping into the crowds of diseased and possessed, hungry and thirsty, offended and furious. He wants to ingest a beauty that’ll linger in the back of this throat during the journey ahead of him that ends with drops of sour vinegar on his parched tongue.

Like, here’s a little sip of the celebration headed our way. Pour another round on me, friends, and let’s raise to the Founder of the Feast!

I love this Sunday in the liturgical calendar so much. Mazel Tov!


Listen: “Water to Wine” from Oak & Apple, Wilder Adkins

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Listen to my entire playlist on Spotify: Epiphany - Good Wine & Wedding Feasts. Add it to your account by clicking ‘Follow.’


You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
and your land Married;
for the Lord delights in you,
and your land shall be married.
For as a young man marries a young woman,
so shall your sons marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.”

*

”How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light.”

*
”Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”

*

”On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
— Isaiah 62:3-5 * Psalm 36:7-9 * 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 * John 2:1-11 (ESV)


Sunday Scripture readings are taken from the
Revised Common Lectionary (Year C). Daily Scripture readings are taken from the Book of Common Prayer (Year 1), using the Psalm selections for Morning Prayer.


Pray:

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
— Book of Common Prayer, Collect for the Second Sunday after Epiphany

Do:

Muslim family having dinner on the floor

Eat with friends

We happen to be attending a wedding this week. How perfectly timely! If you don’t have the fortune of an actual wedding to attend, this is a good week to gather together for a meal with family or friends. Linger over food and wine. Savor the beauty of flavors and the joy of conversation. Take a risk and plan a few toasts for the occasion, or shove the couch aside and dance in candlelight.

For one meal, put aside the sorrows and concerns for a couple of hours to practice the celebration that is our inheritance in the kingdom. Mazel Tov!

You can find other activities for Epiphany at this post: 12+ Ways To Keep Celebrating With the Rest of the World (loads of links)


(See all Epiphany Daybook posts from 2018 here.)

Epiphany +1: Baptism of the Lord

A weekly Epiphany devotional post for these 8 weeks of witness. Join us!

You can read here for a brief description of the liturgical season of Epiphany, and see previous Epiphany daybook 2019 posts here. Blessed Epiphany, friends!

Note: If you're reading this in email, the formatting usually looks much better at the website. Just click the post title to get there.


Look: The Baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan (1964), Jerzy Nowosielski (Polish, 1923–2011)

( source )

I’m grateful, as always, to Victoria Emily Jones for her thoughtful and skillful curation at Art & Theology blog. I discovered today’s artwork in her Epiphany 2018 post of modern icons. I thought you might enjoy some of the descriptive insight she offered there:

“[The post contains a] selection of contemporary Theophany icons from Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Greece, and Romania. All but one of them bear a semicircle at the top, which signifies the “opening of the heavens” and the voice of God reaching down…

On the shores of the Jordan stand one or more angels at the service of their Lord. Their hands are covered by their own cloaks as a sign of reverence—or in some representations, they hold garments to drape over Christ when he emerges from the water. (Early icons of Jesus’s baptism show him completely naked, emphasizing his self-emptying; now, however, it’s more common to see him in a loincloth.)

[…] Epiphany calls us to worshipfully behold the shining forth of Jesus as messiah and as the second person of the Trinity. To orient yourself to the Orthodox celebration of today’s feast, here are two liturgical hymns, the Troparion and the Kontakion, that will be sung congregationally:

“When Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan, worship of the Trinity wast made manifest; for the voice of the Father bore witness to Thee, calling Thee His beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of His word. O Christ our God, Who hath appeared and enlightened the world, glory to Thee.”

. . .

“On this day Thou hast appeared unto the whole world, and Thy light, O Sovereign Lord, is signed on us who sing Thy praise and chant with knowledge: Thou hast now come, Thou hast appeared, O Thou Light unappproachable.

They offer a perfect lens through which to view the [icons seen here].


Listen: “His Banner Over Me” from Be Held: Lullabies for the Beloved, Christy Nockels

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Listen to my entire playlist on Spotify: Epiphany - Baptized & Beloved. Add it to your account by clicking ‘Follow.’


But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
*
”Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.”
*
”Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.”
*
”Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’
— Isaiah 43:1-3a * Psalm 29:1-4 * Acts 8:14-17 * Luke 3:21-22 (ESV)

Sunday Scripture readings are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary (Year C). Daily Scripture readings are taken from the Book of Common Prayer (Year 1).


Pray:

Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River
Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
— Book of Common Prayer, Collect for First Sunday After Epiphany

Do:

Remember your baptism!

During Epiphany we remember Jesus’ baptism and it’s a good season to renew our own baptism vows -- whether in your corporate worship service or in your family and personal prayer time. May I recommend this post from my son's baptism? It includes the Anglican baptism liturgy, but applicable for all followers of Christ.

Or you can be brave and join the Eastern Europeans: Icy dip: Russians plunge into freezing waters on Epiphany, Brave Muscovites plunge icy waters to celebrate Epiphany, and Putin takes traditional Epiphany dip in icy lake .

You can find other activities for Epiphany at this post: 12+ Ways To Keep Celebrating With the Rest of the World (loads of links)


(See all Epiphany Daybook posts from 2018 here.)

The Feast of the Epiphany

A weekly Epiphany devotional post for these 8 weeks of witness. Join us!

You can read here for a brief description of the liturgical season of Epiphany, and see previous Epiphany daybook 2018 posts here

Blessed Epiphany, friends!

Note: If you're reading this in email, the formatting usually looks much better at the website. Just click the post title to get there.


Look:


Listen: “A Light” from Advent Volume 1, The Brilliance

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Listen to my entire playlist on Spotify: Epiphany - The Wise. Add it to your account by clicking ‘Follow.’


Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.

Lift up your eyes all around, and see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be carried on the hip. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and exult, because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall bring good news, the praises of the Lord.”
*
”Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to the royal son!
May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice!
Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness!
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the children of the needy,
and crush the oppressor!

May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands
render him tribute;
may the kings of Sheba and Seba
bring gifts!
May all kings fall down before him,
all nations serve him!”
*
”This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”
*
”Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
— Isaiah 60:1-6 * Psalm 72:1-4, 10-11 * Ephesians 3:6 * Matthew 2:1-12 (ESV)

Sunday Scripture readings are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary (Year C). Daily Scripture readings are taken from the Book of Common Prayer (Year 1).


Pray:

O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the Peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
— Book of Common Prayer, Collect for the Feast of Epiphany

Do:

Read “The Journey of the Magi”

Read or listen to a performance of T. S. Eliot’s” The Journey of the Magi”. If you’re an Alec Guiness fan, you can’t go wrong with this version (which includes the text).

Here’s a dramatic reading I found compelling. Here’s a quality version performed by Denis Adide and shot in locations around Bristol.

You can find other activities for Epiphany at this post: 12+ Ways To Keep Celebrating With the Rest of the World (loads of links).


(See all Epiphany Daybook posts from 2018 here.)

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas: 12+ ways to keep celebrating with the rest of the world (loads of links!)

My Christmas daybook for these 12 days of celebrating. We'll be spending Christmastide with some favorite short films and video clips. Join me, won't you? 

For an introduction read this post: Christmastide. You can see previous Christmas Daybook 2018 posts here.

Note: If you're reading this in email, the formatting usually looks much better at the website. Just click the post title to get there.


house+blessing.jpg


What a joy it’s been to mark the weeks of Advent and Christmas together. I’m grateful for your companionship and encouragement along the way!

As we enter the season of Epiphany, may you continue to walk in the light as He is in the light. You can read a bit more about the liturgical history of Epiphanytide here. Essentially, we walk through the accounts of Christ’s life between his birth and before his Passion with emphasis on the moments Christ was revealed (made manifest) as the Son of God. If the Incarnation is about God becoming man, Epiphany is about God’s marking this man Jesus as a divine Son, sent to reveal God to us. Get ready for some of the most beautiful, captivating accounts of Christ’s life, teaching, and healing in the coming six weeks. Celebrate that Christ came and moved into the neighborhood!

I’ve included a giant list of ideas for you to celebrate the weeks of Epiphany. Pick one or more to share with friends or family in the coming weeks. (I’ll refer back to them again in my Sunday Daybook posts). In much the way the Magi remind us that Christ was given to all peoples, it’s important to recognize that , for much of the world, the Feast of Epiphany is celebrated with much more fanfare than Christmas Day. This is a great time to learn about their traditions.

May you know the light and walk in the light in the coming weeks,

Tamara

p.s., I’d love to hear your Advent and Christmas highlights. Drop me a comment to share !

Watch & Do for Twelfth Night and Epiphanytide:

  1. Throw a Twelfth Night Party! We attended one last night and have friends who do this every year. It’s a chance to shout a last hurrah for Christmas. Old tradition in England included wassailing, as in “here we come a-wassailing!”. (Maybe you want to make mulled cider one more time?). Friends of ours in Austin are holding Twelfth Night bonfires and inviting friends to bring their Christmas trees for the fire.

  2. Sing or listen to various versions of the carol “We Three Kings”. Here’s a classic orchestration by Eugene Ormandy with a montage of images of the Magi from around the world. Here’s a beautiful instrumental jazz version from Wynton Marsalis Septet performed at Carnegie Hall in 1991.

  3. Read or listen to a performance of T. S. Eliot’s” The Journey of the Magi”. If you’re an Alec Guiness fan, you can’t go wrong with this version (which includes text)> Here’s a dramatic reading I found compelling. Here’s an quality version performed by Denis Adide and shot in locations around Bristol.

  4. Read the Matthew account of the Magi. Here’s a well-done compilation with the text of the account with scenes from the movie The Birth of Jesus. Here’s a dramatized version with Scripture narration. For a movie adaptation of the Luke and Matthew accounts, here’s the Visit of the Shepherds and the Magi scene from the Catherine Hardwick's film "The Nativity Story" (2006). (Here’s a 15 minute edit of the magi scenes from the entire movie.)

  5. Learn more about the theories of the history of the wise men: Mystery of the Magi, 3 Wise Men: Ancient Magicians?, and, my favorite from the Smithsonian Channel, How to Understand the Three Wise Men, Frankincense & Myrrh.

  6. Pray for Bethlehem: O Little Town of Bethlehem, Celebrating Christmas in Bethlehem, What Do Jews In Israel Think About Jesus Christ the Messiah?, Historic Bethlehem Now A Modern Mix of Cultures, Bethlehem, Palestine: Church of the Nativity.

  7. Chalk the Doors & pray an Epiphany House Blessing: watch here and here for explanations from a couple of Protestant pastors and here for a video demonstration from a Catholic mom: Epiphany Part 1: House Blessing. You can find prayers here or print out a larger prayer service adapted from various sources that leads you to pray through each room of your home: Feast of the Epiphany.

  8. Make paper crowns (free printable!) and King’s Cake: An Easy DIY King’s Cake or 3 Kings Cake for Rosca De Reyes - A Traditional bread to celebrate Feast of Epiphany.

  9. Learn about Three King’s Day celebrations from around the world. Consider making international dishes from any of these countries. Three Kings Parade (Madrid), Lin-Manuel Miranda Explains the Magic of Three Kings Day (Puerto Rico/New York), Epiphany Celebrated In Catholic and Orthodox Churches (Rome, Istanbul, Sofia), Epiphany Celebration (Italy), Orthodox Christians Celebrate Epiphany/Prepare for Christmas (Bulgaria, WBank, Turkey). (Can you imagine joining that celebration in Bulgaria?!?)

  10. Remember your baptism! During Epiphany we remember Jesus’ baptism and it’s a good season to renew our own baptism vows -- whether in your corporate worship service or in your family and personal prayer time. May I recommend this post from my son's baptism? It includes the Anglican baptism liturgy, but applicable for all followers of Christ. Or you can be brave and join the Eastern Europeans: Icy dip: Russians plunge into freezing waters on Epiphany, Brave Muscovites plunge icy waters to celebrate Epiphany, and Putin takes traditional Epiphany dip in icy lake .

  11. Go stargazing (and if you can’t get a clear night, watch this!). Make paper stars! Here’s a lovely tutorial: Origami Christmas Star/Star of Bethlehem/ 8-point Star.

  12. Keep twinkle lights and candles glowing in and outside your home right up until Candlemas (also known as the Feast of the Presentation)! Here’s a lovely write-up from The Homely Hours about the meaning of Candlemas and a family liturgy printable for Candlemas. I also love this idea for creating a candlelit prayer walk. Here’s a tutorial for building a beautiful snow lantern.


Read on the Eve of Epiphany: Psalm 29, 98; Isaiah 66:18-23; Romans 15:7-13

Pray:

We bless you, Abba, Father, for you have visited your people in one like us in all things but sin, and in human fragility you have revealed the face of divinity. Gather into your arms all the peoples of the world, so that in your embrace we may find blessing, peace, and the fullness of our inheritance as your daughters and sons. Amen.
— Revised Common Lectionary Prayers

A final Merry Christmas from me to you!

Epiphany, 6: And he was transfigured before them

A weekly Epiphany devotional post for these 5 weeks of witness. Join us!

 You can read here for a brief description of the liturgical season of Epiphany, and see previous Epiphany daybook 2018 posts here

Blessed Epiphany, friends!

*Note: If you're reading this in email, the formatting usually looks much better at the website. Just click the post title to get there.*


Transfiguration  by James B. Janknegt ( source )

Transfiguration by James B. Janknegt (source)


Song for this week: "The Transfiguration", Sufjan Stevens (lyrics)

SpotifyYouTube

A playlist for the week on Spotify - Glory


And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.

And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

Daily office lectionary readings for this week:

* Sunday Scripture readings are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary (Year B). Daily Scripture readings are taken from the Book of Common Prayer (Year 2).


Prayer for this week:

O God, who before the passion of your only begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
— Book of Common Prayer

6.prepare for Lent.pablo.png

Lent Daybook posts, 2018

I'm planning to post each weekday during Lent, combining daily Scripture readings, art, prayer, song and a simple meditative exercise for each day. You can receive the posts in your email inbox by subscribing in the sidebar (top right of the blog web page).  I'll also link each post at the blog's Facebook page and Instagram account

A few notes about curating the Lent Daybook posts:

  • Victoria Emily Jones at the wonderful Art & Theology blog included the Lent Daybook series in her round-up of Lent devotionals with an art component. I'm honored to be included in the company of so much wisdom and beauty.

  • One of the blog creators included in the Art & Theology post is Kevin Greene whom I only discovered last year. He posts each day during Lent with short daily devotions, each one containing an art image and a piece of music. Through the past seven years, he's curated a stunning collection of artwork that reflects the themes of Lent either implicitly or explicitly. He's written a couple of posts in preparation for this Lent that says well much of what I've hoped to represent here each year.

  • I've begun to create a main blog page for each liturgical season.  You can find the Lent page under the Worship & Liturgy tab in the main menu.


(see all Epiphany posts from 2017 here)