As the radiant light of Epiphany draws near Bishop Ward reflects on the gifts given to the baby Jesus and the gifts that are given through mission.
Arise and shine for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
We give thanks for these beautiful words from Isaiah as we celebrate the Epiphany. Epiphany means appearing, a star appears. We read of it in the gospel of Matthew, Chapter 2, and Magi, who study the sky, see that star and it beckons them. They follow it for a long time, until it stops over the place where Jesus lies. The Magi present gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh to the Christ child.
In a little over a week, Mike and I will journey with provisional members of our annual conference to Haiti. From Port-au-Prince, we will travel to the town of Jeremie. There we will be hosted by Regine Jean-Baptiste, a clergy member of our annual conference. Regine is in mission at Lighthouse Lands, a ministry to the people of Jeremie and the surrounding agricultural region. We will work in the community gardens and in the school. In this way, we will continue the partnership which the North Carolina Conference has enjoyed with the people of Haiti for a number of years. Five years after the tragic earthquake in January 2010, we continue to be engaged with the Methodist people of Haiti and with others in need of God’s sustaining and healing touch. We invite your prayers for this particular mission, one of many in which we are engaged in our churches across our annual conference.
We thank God for the light of Epiphany, for the invitation to bring gifts to the One who is born, to the Light of the world, and for the summons to be in mission in the all the world. May you be blessed wherever you are this day as you engage in mission, led forth by the radiant star.