Right at the heart of the celebration of the Epiphany is the fact that the homage paid by the wise men, opening their treasure chests and worshipping Jesus happens in the house where Mary and Joseph are caring for Jesus. It strikes me this is something to focus on in our slightly belated celebration of the feast this year, because, coming at the beginning of our period of lockdown it is a reminder that our faith offers us the presence of God alongside us in all that we do and that our worship can and should start at home.
I also want to add a few words, as I send out this act of worship, about how some deep ideas on our faith can help us practically as we deal with either choosing to stay at home to worship, or coming to church but missing the sense of fellowship that socialising together can bring because of the need to keep in our separate households. We are held in communion, in togetherness by God – the God who made us all, who draws us to share the life of Jesus in baptism, and who inspires us by the same spirit. In God we are held in communion with all who are living and those who have gone before into the closer presence of God; with those with whom we are physically present and those far away. I believe we are held in that unity all the time, but every time we make an act of prayer or worship we open ourselves up to God’s uniting love at work in us.
As we worship over the next few weeks whether at home or in church it might help us experience that sense of connection to take time to be still and hold all those we love (those around us in church and those who we know are at home, or in church while we are at home, our loved ones and all for whom we have concern) in our awareness and ask God to help us feel close to them, to know we are physically distant but not alone. If you are at home you might like to co-incide your prayers with those in church at 11am, perhaps marking the time by lighting a candle, so we all share God’s light at love at the same time.