Community of the Incarnation
Where Everyone Embodies the Christ
A Progressive Independent Catholic Church
Bishop Janet Sunderland Bishop Clifford J. Kroski
Charles Fillmore Chapel, Unity Temple on the Plaza
707 W. 47th Street, Kansas City, MO
10:30 a.m. Charles Fillmore Chapel
January 6: Epiphany
Bishop Janet Sunderland
January 13: Feast of the Baptism of Jesus
Bishop Cliff Kroski
January 20: Bishop Janet Sunderland
January 27: Bishop Cliff Kroski
Happy New Year
We wish all of you the very best wishes in this New
Year. May it bring you peace, love, abundance,
We begin the first Sunday of 2013 celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany. This wonderful celebration from Matthew’s Gospel tells the story of three magi, or astrologers, who follow a star and bring gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to a newborn baby.
Whether this story is true or based on oral tradition really doesn’t matter. We are so familiar with this story of the wise men, the conversation with Herod, the three gifts (because there were three travelers), and the dream they had to return home by another route.
As we have done in years past, we offer a traditional blessing for you: (20 + C + M + B + 13).
The number of the New Year is split at the beginning and end. The C, M, and B are the initials of the Magi (traditionally Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar) and the +’s stand for “saint”. The letters also abbreviate the blessing, “Christus mansionem benedicat: May Christ bless this house.” Write the inscription above the lintel inside the front door as a family member says, “May Christ bless this house.” It’s a wonderful, simple ceremony. Throughout the year those who come and go through that door will enjoy the blessing of Christ though you.
The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is the bridge between the Christmas season and Ordinary Time, and the official end of the Christmas season.
We hear Luke’s account of the baptism of Jesus. When Jesus is baptized by John, a voice comes from the heavens saying, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” Unlike Matthew’s account which implies that all present heard the voice from above, in Mark’s account only Jesus hears the voice from heaven.
As we are blessed with water on that day, we are reminded that we too are sons and daughters of the Divine, we are all beloved, and God is well pleased with us. We share in the baptism of the Christ and we are called to transformation, wholeness, and holiness as the Spirit resides in us.
January 20th begins a very brief Ordinary Time cycle before Lent. We hear John’s gospel account of the miracle at the wedding feast in Cana. Similar to the feasts of Epiphany and the Baptism, the glory of Jesus is revealed, this time in the changing of jars of water into jars of wine at the insistence of his mother, Mary. There is even some humor in the passage with an interesting repartee between Jesus and Mary as well as the recognition that the good wine was saved until the end of the celebration. Usually, the cheaper wine was saved until the end after everyone had their fill of the vintage wine.
The last Sunday of the month presents Luke’s account of Jesus reading the scroll from the prophet Isaiah in his home temple in Nazareth. He boldly proclaims that “Today this passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” He is the one who will bring “liberty to captives, sight to the blind, and freedom to the oppressed. These pronouncements are not accepted by his neighbors.
+ Cliff and + Janet