EPIPHANY SHORT-THOUGHTS IN LOCKDOWN
IF WE CHRISTIANS would join the Wise Men,
we must close our eyes to all that glitters
and look rather on the despised and foolish things,
help the poor, comfort the despised,
and aid the neighbour in his need. Martin Luther
THE MAGI were also intellectuals,
students of the stars and seekers after truth.
It took the learned sages somewhat longer
than the unlearned shepherds to find their way to Bethlehem,
but they got there in the end. John Polkinghorne, Living with Hope
THE MAGI didn't return to the Orient
by the same route they arrived on.
Learn from the past.
If you want to change your life,
then change your way. Saint Augustine
THE THREE KINGS had only a rumour to go by,
but it moved them to make that long journey.
The scribes were much better informed, much better versed.
They sat and studied Scriptures like so many dons,
but it did not make them move.
Who had the more truth?
The three kings who followed a rumour,
or the scribes who remained sitting with all their knowledge?
What a vexation it must have been for the kings,
that the scribes who gave them the news they wanted
remained quiet in Jerusalem!
'We are being mocked', the kings might have thought.
For indeed what an atrocious self-contradiction
that the scribes should have the knowledge and yet remain still.
This is as bad as if a person knows all about Christ and his teachings,
and his own life expresses the opposite.
We are tempted to suppose that such a person wishes to fool us,
unless we admit that he is only fooling himself. Søren Kierkegaard, Meditations from Kierkegaard
WHERE CHILDREN wish upon a star
for wise men scan the universe in hope
et your bright beams surround their dreams
and guide their hesitating feet
to where a miracle is born. David Jenkins, from prayer in The Westminster Collection of Christian Prayers,
PRAYERS IN LOCKDOWN
Lord in the day
Lord of the sunrise,
we give thanks for this new day,
the birth of a child,
for the break of day,
for the opportunities ahead of us;
for energy and enthusiasm,
for the challenges of a new day,
Lord of the noonday,
we give thanks for the ability to work,
and pray for those who are
unemployed or redundant;
for all we can achieve,
for unrealised potential.
Lord of the sunset,
we remember those who have died this day,
and all for whom this day has been full of sadness.
for all who have inspired us, for our loved ones
whom we love but no longer see.
Lord of the night,
we give thanks for rest and refreshment,
for all your love and care,
for the promise of a new day.
David Adam (abridged)
O Heavenly Father,
we pray thee for those suffering in this pandemic.
Give them the victory of trust and hope,
that they may never lose their faith in Your loving purpose.
Grant wisdom to all who are working
to end the grip in which Covid has the world;
and grant us the faith that through You
all things are possible.
We ask this in the Name of him
who went about doing good
and healing all kinds of disease,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
George Appleton (abridged)
Hasten the time, Lord, when no one shall live in contentment
whilst knowing that others have need.
Inspire in us and in people of all nations
the desire for social justice,
that the hungry may be fed,
the homeless welcomed,
the sick healed,
and a just order established in the world,
according to your gracious will
made known in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Prayed at Assisi, October 1986
We pray that we and all men and women
may firmly exclude violence as a solution
to personal, community and world problems,
that every human being may reject everything
that could lead to conflict,
offering instead human understanding,
tolerance, mutual respect and reconciliation.
We pray that we and all our fellow human beings
may grow in respect for human dignity and its inalienable rights;
may we use our liberty with scrupulous care
not to infringe the rights of others,
having a practical concern for their needs
and facing life together with mutual respect,
understanding and unfailing hope.
Pope John Paul II and other Faith Leaders