February 14 we will be having an Ash Wednesday service. Details will be released soon.
Blessed be, God dwelling at the highest heavens, just as you dwell in our lives, our smiles and tears, blessed be as you dwell in our pain and the delight of Beingness. Blessed be God, in Whom we move and exist.
Teach us to perceive your presence and praise you. Teach us that this brief, short existence does not require us to be small. Help us contemplate life as the unfathomable mystery that is. In boredom and pain, no less than in emotion and in joy – the joy of touching, tasting, smelling, feeling the sacred simplicity, because we are unique, precious and with a life and grace of our own at those times.
Blessed God, dwell delightfully within us.
So be it.
prayer submitted by
REV. CRISTIANO VALÉRIO
Development Coordinator of MCC in Brazil
It seems very superficial to talk about the manifestations of Jesus among us without listening to the voices of the millions of victims of the systems of destruction in this world. Epiphany means appearance or manifestation, it is an experience of Jesus in body and flesh. Someone very concrete that is seen and walks between us.
Christian tradition relates three narratives with Jesus’ epiphanies among peoples. The first is the narrative of the three wise men, three foreigners who were able to perceive the revelation of Jesus, as a vulnerable child, without the ability to defend herself / himself. The second is the narrative of Jesus’ baptism where he accepts a prophetic call not because he receives the anointing of the Spirit of God, but because he decides to go to face his demons in the desert. The third narrative is the conversion of water into wine at the wedding of Cana, in there Jesus himself prepares the party so that everyone can continue celebrating life.
But the question remains, how relevant these stories are in a world that is increasingly broken, unjust and violent? In recent years we have witnessed a humanitarian crisis generated by the situation of people displaced by the violence of political and economic systems. Jesus in his epiphany as a vulnerable and fragile child shouts at us in the hundreds of images of boys and girls on rafts crossing the seas to reach safe lands, in children rescued after the bombing, in girls kidnapped by extremists. In those bodies Jesus screams and manifests … can we hear him? Jesus manifests himself in his choice for a prophetic ministry in the voices of the thousands of relatives of the disappeared in Mexico who cry out for the bodies of their sons and daughters. More than 29,000 disappeared in less than six years without any clue of them and that reality is a scandal that the Mexican government refuses to answer … but Jesus goes to the desert to face the demons with his body and says:
“I want to tell my children that I love them with all the strength of my heart and that I will not stop looking for them.” I not only look for my 4 missing children, I am looking for the thousands and thousands of children of mothers who are suffering. same as me. ” (words of María Herrera Magdaleno from Michoacán). She has been searching for his 4 children for 7 years. Jesus shouts in the voice of Maria: those are my beloved children … return them to this earth!
In the big garbage dumps of the world, where garbage collectors look for the possibility of life where many of us saw waste, Jesus prepares the party, turning water into wine, when the garbage collectors find what sustains them. The epiphanies of Jesus shout to us, can we listen? Or are we entertained with biblical narratives?
by Rev. Elder Margarita Sánchez De León
on behalf of the Metropolitan Community Churches Council of Elders:
Rev. Elder Dr. Candace R. Shultis, Convener
Rev. Elder Ines-Paul Baumann
Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown
Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner
Rev. Elder Tony Freeman
Rev. Elder Darlene Garner
Rev. Elder Héctor Gutiérrez
Rev. Elder Dwayne Johnson
Elder Nancy Maxwell
Rev. Elder Mona West, PhD