High River United Church of High River, Alberta

A Season of Light & Possibility - Epiphany

Welcome to the New Year!


It is so important that you know how much we miss you. We are always giving thanks for our Church Council and Congregational Care team who are dedicated to keeping the connection with you while we are apart from our usual ways of gathering. We are a congregation who shares compassion for one another and that has been even more evident by the care everyone has taken over the holidays to stay home and keep each other safe.


This has been an emotional challenge for all of us and yet, we have heard stories of how you have left gifts on doorsteps, visited over the phone or by zoom with family, dropped Christmas dinner off with those who are alone, added extra outdoor lights, enjoyed the outdoors, joined us for special services and watched our HRUC YouTube videos online or by DVD. These gestures of faith and acts of kindness are life-sustaining and remind us that we are the hands and feet of Christ as we offer love and compassion to each other and our world at a time when it is hurting. We are so thankful for the loving heart of our congregation.


Today’s words are being written on January 6th, the Feast of Epiphany and Orthodox Christmas Eve. It’s a wondrous day in the church year. For our community at HRUC, we are celebrating Epiphany which is often remembered alongside the visit of the Magi to the young Jesus. Tradition remembers the Magi offering gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. They were astrologers who were steeped in centuries-old practices of paying attention to the heavens, living according to ancient wisdom, and well-studied in the prophecies and writings of Daniel. Some six hundred years before the birth of Jesus, King Nebuchadnezzar appointed Daniel as the “chief of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and diviners, because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems were found in this Daniel…” (Daniel 5:11).


There is some evidence to suggest that Daniel’s writings, wisdom and prophecies were part of the Magi’s curriculum of study for centuries which eventually gave rise to an interest in the star, thus interpreted according to Daniel’s writings, as a light signifying the birth of Jewish king. This would not be lost on the writer of Matthew’s gospel and serves beautifully to illustrate the long-held prophecy of Daniel and the mysterious and wondrous ways of God now manifest in the birth of Jesus. And so, the depth of the Biblical texts loop around each other bringing the past to the present and laying out the way of God’s ongoing reign of compassion and love.


We might ask ourselves, what of God’s mystery, wonder and love is being made manifest in our lives today? What are we noticing that gives rise in our lives of a sense of God’s presence? January 6th concludes the 12 days of Christmas signaling the beginning of the season of Epiphany—the season of awareness, the season of noticing, the season of paying attention to God’s presence at work in our lives and the world around us. Again, we are called to treasure and ponder the wonder of God’s birth in Jesus, the Word becoming flesh, the vulnerable nature of God’s love so powerful and perfect that comes to us in human form. We too are the born-presence- of-God for one another and that, dear friends, is the wonder and love that we draw upon which helps us find the courage and healing we need for ourselves and each other through these challenging pandemic times. We are NOT alone. We hold the presence of the Christ for each other. The more we practice the presence of God, the more healing and love there is. It is quite miraculous.


So, do not lose heart, dear ones. Epiphany is the season of light and mystery that prevails upon us to take up wonder and look for signs of God’s love doing great things that, not unlike the Magi of old, foretell of God’s love breaking into the world right now with gifts of hope, love, peace and joy. These are our gifts to receive and to give during this season of returning light and Epiphany. Let’s watch for them. Let’s share them.


May you know the possibility of God's love, day by day.


Many blessings for the year 2021.                                                      
Rev. Susan & Rev. David

High River United Church – a community of help, home & hope

“Just to be is a blessing; just to live is holy.” A. Heschel






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123 MacLeod Trail S.W. High River, Alberta.

(403) 652-3168


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