Then I'm preparing for the worship services for this week. I use a combination of the Narrative Lectionary and the Revised Common Lectionary both of which are at Jesus' baptism today. The combination of calendar days, start of the new year and when Sundays 'fall' have the first Sunday, when we remember our baptisms with Jesus' baptism, falling right after - yup, you're right - Epiphany this year. So....... do I follow the Lectionary, either one, or do I stay true to the Liturgical calendar? Which is when I had an epiphany!
I would like you to think about both! I would like you to think about the Magi bringing Jesus gifts. I would like you to think about any baptism, recently, you have been a part of and the gift you brought for the person being baptized. I would like you to think about the gift(s) God has given you including both the gift of God's Son - Emmanuel - AND the gift of the Holy Spirit. Then...... I would ask you........ What gift(s) are you bringing to Jesus? The vows made for us, if we were baptized as infants or small children, or that we made ourselves AND that we repeat at every baptism include (but are not limited to!) giving "our prayers, our presence, our gifts and our service" (emphasis mine). Are we even doing "that much"?
Last week I spoke about the "Breakthrough" prayer and each of us starting with ourselves. It was a reminder of the prayers we spoke of during Advent. It is also a reminder of Emmanuel, God with us, helping us to follow where God is leading. Change is never easy, and not always wanted, but can bring about an epiphany. Starting with ourselves we can be asking the Holy Spirit to "Breakthrough" what is holding us back from bringing our gifts to Jesus -- for Epiphany or for celebrating His baptism.
So...... I am asking you today - what gift(s) are you bringing? Have you made room, in your heart, for Emmanuel? Have you tried the "Breakthrough" prayer for what is holding you back? I encourage you to take the gift God is giving, Emmanuel, and give God the gift(s) of your time to be with God -- even if that means making some changes or trying something new!