2nd Sunday of Christmas: Sunday School Reconvenes, Twelfth Night Evensong, Rector's Roast Beef Supper
January 5, 2020
The Three Kings still seemed so far away on Christmas, and even the First Sunday of Christmas, but the days of Christmas are speeding by, and the kings will arrive on Monday! Which, according to the way the Church and the Bible keep time, means Epiphany begins with Twelfth Night on Sunday at dusk! So, we'll keep Sunday morning as the Second Sunday after Christmas with another story from Matthew about the travails of Joseph and Mary. (Hint: He has another dream in which an angel appears to him; this time with a warning!) And then, beginning Sunday evening at 4p.m., we'll tell Matthew's Epiphany story of the Kings arriving at the Home of the Holy Family to present their gifts to our newborn King..
Our Sunday School and Youth Program will reconvene in the morning with new Director Tyler Jarvis. The Sunday School will focus on the Epiphany Story; they'll decide who gets to reprise the King's Story while we sing the King's song at Evensong. The middle schoolers will meet with Tyler to begin, well, from, "The Beginning," i.e. Genesis. There are "New Year! New Program!" flyers to share, as well as invitations to the Sunday School's Open House to officially welcome Tyler on Sunday, January 26.
While I don't expect young children to notice these things, adult hearers of the Epiphany Story may notice some discrepancies between the Biblical account and how we celebrate the Epiphany. Matthew describes the visitors to the Holy Family as "Magi" which usually becomes "Wise Men" in English; since Matthew does say they came "from the East," the Church recognizes them as "the kings of Tarshish, ... Arabia and Saba" which Psalm 72 says will bring gifts to the "King's Son." Also, Matthew doesn't actually say how many Magi offered gifts, but does say that they brought three iconic gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh -- thus recognizing Jesus "as King, and God, and Sacrifice" in the words of "their" song.
You see, the Evensong readings do come together to shape our perception of who these wise visitors from the East were, why they made the trip, and what their gifts represent. There won't be a sermon at the Evensong to make these connections; but they'll all be there in word and in song. The Choir will offer a lovely anthem; and, we'll sing the carols that tell the Epiphany Story.
Following the Evensong, we'll adjourn to the Parish Hall for theRector's Roast Beef Supper, with smashed potatoes, and Caesar salad, plus a special item for children. And yes, you can help: There'll be a sign-up sheet to help with set-up, serving, and clean-up. Please feel free to bring an appetizer or a dessert to share.
Thursday morning Bible Study resumes this week, and the Rectory Forum next Sunday, with an Introduction to the Book of Common Prayer. This may seem an odd topic for Bible Study, but the Prayer Book does serve, in part, as our shared commentary on the Bible. Your questions, whether general or detailed, will help shape what we discuss; no other preparation required. Join the conversation over coffee and tea beginning Thursday, January 10 at 9:30a.m. and Sunday, January 12 at about 9:10a.m. in the Rectory.
Thanks again to one and all for your generous Christmas Outreach giving for the Mitten Tree and Angels-Under-the-Balcony; and to the Memorials & Thanksgivings, and the end-of-the-year appeal included in my Christmas letter! You covered the Mitten Tree two times with scarves, gloves, mittens, socks and caps for our neighbors served by New Haven's Chapel-on-the-Green And, you were "Angels-Under-the-Balcony" with your contributions for the Town's Heating Assistance Program. Your Christmas Memorials & Thanksgivings underwrote the special music and flowers that have delighted us throughout Christmastide, and your end-of-the-year gifts provided a year-end bonus to our 2019 finances.
And now the new calendar year of 2020 has begun, and I lookforward to sharing our continuing celebrations with you! Happy New Year!
In faith and hope,
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