Sharp About Your Prayers

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Holy Graffiti

January 5th, 2017 · No Comments · Faith and the City

Dear Friends in Christ:

Today is Epiphany — Jan. 6. After the 12 days of Christmas, Christians move from celebrating the birth of Jesus to contemplating the revelation of Christ to the world.

In other words, Epiphany is Jesus going public. During Epiphany, we contemplate the transformative things that happen when people from all walks of life encounter the light of Christ.

Across the world, Christians celebrate Epiphany in creative ways. In Greek Orthodox communities, priests throw a weighted cross into deep water and members of the youth group dive for it!

Many Christians “chalk” the front door of their home on Epiphany. My wife does it every year. The formula for the ritual, adapted for 2017, is simple. Take chalk of any color and write the following above, on or near the entrance to your home:

20 + C + M + B + 17

The letters represent the initials of the three Magi – Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar – who came to visit Jesus. They also abbreviate the Latin phrase Christus mansionem benedicat: “May Christ bless this house.” The “+” signs represent the cross, and the “20” at the beginning and the “17” at the end mark the year.

Taken together, this inscription is a prayer that Christ would bless this home and all who dwell therein for the coming year. Give it a try!

This Sunday we will begin our journey through Epiphany by reading the story of Christ’s baptism in the River Jordan and by talking about the identity baptism confers on all of us. We may even do a little cross diving.

See you in worship,

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