“We observed his star in the East”
Raise us up and draw us to your perfect light
- Psalm 139:1-10 – Your right hand shall hold me fast
- 2 Timothy 1:7-10 – This grace… has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus
In this fragile and uncertain world, we look for light. We look for the good within ourselves, but often we are so overwhelmed by our weakness that hope fails us. Our confidence rests in God, who in wisdom, enables us to hope for his mercy. We are surprised when it comes in human form: Christ is the light in our midst! God’s gift to us is a ‘spirit of power, and love’. We are drawn forward on the way to this perfect light by God’s Holy Spirit, not by relying on our own strength and ability.
In the midst of darkness, the star from the East penetrates the depths of the darkness that separates us from one another. The star’s light continues to shine and to change the face of history. Throughout the ages, by the lives of Christ’s followers, the world has come to know the hope that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. And the Risen One continues to shine, like a beacon guiding all into this perfect light and overcoming the darkness which separates us from one another.
The desire to overcome the darkness that separates us compels us to pray and work for Christian unity.
Creator of light,
illumine our path by the light of Christ who moves before us and leads us.
May he be a beacon for our pilgrimage.
Enlighten us and dwell within us.
Guide us to discover a manger in our hearts where a great light still shines.
We thank you for the gift of that unfading Star, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.
Heal our divisions and draw us closer to the Light that we may find our unity in him.
How brightly beams the Morning Star!
What sudden radiance from afar
Doth glad us with its shining,
Brightness of God that breaks our night
And fills the darken’d souls with light
Who long for truth were pining!
Thy Word, Jesu, only feeds us,
Rightly leads us,
Praise, oh praise such love o’erflowing.
Johann Schlegel, tr. Catherine Winkworth
Reflecting on the past year –
- Global: What could the role of the Church be in proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel in a world where there is so much injustice?
- Local: Where have you seen signs of hope in your community, especially during a time of pandemic?
- Personal: Where have you sought ‘the light’ in the midst of darkness?
Go and Do
- Global: Visit the website of Embrace the Middle East (https://embraceme.org/take-action) and see what actions you can take to be in solidarity with Christians of the Middle East.
- Local: Organise a candlelit vigil with the churches in your area as an act of unity for this week. It doesn’t have to be in person but each church could encourage members to put a candle in their window at an agreed day and time.
- Personal: Take time this week to star gaze. Let your eyes settle on an unfading star and pause in reverence and prayer before the Creator of light. You don’t have to go outside, you can search for and visit an online planetarium.
Original source: WPCU 2022