Anglican Catholic Church

Epiphany Message to the Diocese from the Bishop

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We know that "Epiphany" means manifestation or showing forth and Epiphany-tide follows close on Christmas because we see, as the 3 Magi visit the Infant Jesus, The Word made flesh being manifested to the world.
If, unlike the darkness, we do comprehend the significance of this and wish to identify ourselves wholeheartedly with Him, then we too must seek to be manifestation or showing forth of Christ to the world.

In order that we may manifest Christ, not only with our lips, but in our lives, we must give up ourselves to His service, and walk before Him in holiness and righteousness all our days. It is for this reason we pray, in the Collect for the First Sunday After Epiphany, that we "may both perceive and know what things we ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil the same."

How do we best manifest Christ? How can we, with all our weaknesses and failures manifest the Light? The obvious lesson for today is, that having given thanks for the Light in our Christmas celebrations, we must remember our responsibility for walking in that light. By walking in the Light we will unconsciously share the Light and manifest the Light of Christ to those around us.

One of my favourite clips, from a favourite film, is this scene (click on the link at the bottom of this news item below)
in Bing Crosby's "Bells of St Mary's". I especially like the children's decision to sing "Happy Birthday dear Jesus". Every time I see this film I am struck by the children bowing their heads reverently at the Holy Name of Jesus (at 4mins 24 secs).

As our hearts and minds turn towards the Epiphany and the manifestation of the Saviour to the world, Christians know we have a part to play in this.

Manifesting Christ in our words and deeds is so important and a witness we can and should all do. Sometimes I am asked - even by people who have gone to church for years - "How can I do this?" My response in to tell them that for most of us it is in the small things, in little, simple details.

Begin by showing the world that the Name of Jesus is Holy. Bow the head when you mention the Lord Jesus or hear His Holy Name mentioned. In Church and outside of Church. It isn't all that can be or needs to be done - but it is an enormous step in the right direction. Do it faithfully and you will be surprised by what follows.

"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;" Philippians 2:9-10.

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12

"On coming to the house, they (the three wisemen) saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. " Matthew 2:11

+Damien

The Right Revd Damien Mead
Diocese of the United Kingdom
ANGLICAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

Happy Birthday Dear Jesus