Weekly Reflection for Sunday, Jan. 14 click here
An unfamiliar voice – In his sermon, “When God Speaks,” Dr. Keith Wagner says the following: “I am sure that everyone has seen the television commercial about E.F. Hutton. There is always a crowd of people and two people are together when one of them says, “Well my broker is E.F. Hutton and E.F. Hutton says…..” At that point there is a huge hush over the crowd and everyone turns to listen. Then the advertisement concludes with the phrase, “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.” What about when God speaks? Is anyone listening? Does God have the same credibility that E.F. Hutton has when it comes to important messages? God is actually speaking to us all the time. The problem is that we are not listening. It was the same in Samuel’s time. God needed Samuel to listen. No one else was listening at that time as we hear, “for the word of the Lord was rare in those days.” Is God not heard because no one is listening? Is it difficult to listen to God in these times simply because there is too much noise? Samuel heard the voice of God, only because he slept near the arc of the covenant. When we are willing to stay close to the church, to ‘hang out’ where the word of God is spoken, we give God an opportunity to speak. (John Pichappilly in ‘The Table of the Lord’)
Weekly Reflection for Sunday, Jan. 7 click here
Artaban the fourth Wise Man: In 1895, Henry van Dyke wrote the story, “The Other Wise Man," telling of a fourth wise man called Artaban. Our hero is not mentioned in the Gospel because he missed the caravan. He got to Bethlehem too late to see the Baby Jesus. But Artaban did make it in time to save one of the Holy Innocents by bribing a soldier. For 33 years Artaban searched for Jesus. He did not find Jesus, but all the while the Fourth wise man fed the hungry and helped the poor. Then one day in Jerusalem Artaban saw the "King of the Jews" being crucified. He started to offer a pearl as ransom. But then he saw a girl being sold into slavery to pay family debts. Artaban gave his pearl to buy freedom for the girl. Suddenly the earth quaked as Jesus died on the cross and a stone struck Artaban. Dying, he heard a Voice saying: "When you helped the least of my children, you helped me. Meet me in Heaven!" Artaban, the fourth Wise Man, had been making God present in his community for years by helping others. God asks each of us on the feast of Epiphany to be a fourth Wise Man by becoming God’s epiphanies, making His love present in the world around us by our acts of love and kindness.