matterofprayer blog post for Monday, January 6, 2014
Continuing To Adore Him
January 6th. The day after Twelfth Night. Three Kings Day. The Twelfth Day of Christmas. Epiphany. It goes by different names in different parts of the world. This is the day in the ancient Western church tradition that the Magi came to give their gifts to the Christ child. The Baptism of Christ is celebrated in the ancient Eastern church tradition
I know that in my current church tradition, the day of Epiphany is pretty much like any other, unless it happens to fall on a Sunday. That’s too bad, since I was raised in a high liturgical setting. I learned about the liturgical colors, the various vestments and the different holy days. I have always liked Epiphany. For years, I’ve been drawn to the concept of the Kings and their gifts, as well as that of the Eternal Light of the Universe suddenly breaking into our little backwater of a world. Being born as a human in Bethlehem. And in some years, the Baptism of our Lord is celebrated. In both cases, the Light of the World is shining forth, whether as a small child or at the beginning of His public ministry.
In the biblical narratives, we see people coming to Jesus. Whether as a baby or as an adult, they come to Him with an agenda. In the case of the Kings, it was to pay homage to another newborn King. In the case of those at the Jordan River, their agenda was mostly to repent and get baptized by John, and Jesus was not the main event (at first).
What about me? I admit I sometimes come to God with an agenda. Well, all right. I almost always come to God with some sort of checklist. What if I let God set the agenda? What if I had no expectations, no presuppositions? What then? I suspect my encounter with God would be different. Very different.
I need to drop the agenda. The checklist. The false expectations and put-on presuppositions. Help me, God!
Let’s pray. Dear God, Holy One born in Bethlehem, I pray that I might be a willing servant of Yours. Light of the World, I pray that I might also be a light on a lampstand, giving light to the whole house. Forgive me for my sins, especially the sin of bringing an agenda to You. Hoping, no, demanding that You solve my problems or forgive my sins—when often I’ve stepped right in the middle of something serious or tragic. Please, forgive me. Thank You for Your loving-kindness and gracious mercy. O, let me come and continue to adore You, Lord. Amen.