Greetings from Peter Mayer

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Stars and Promises * Epiphany* January 6, 2010

"Way look away
Star of the East is rising
To all who roam 'twill guide you home tonight"
Mother's Song by Peter Mayer*/viewPage/6

Take a look at the floor in this picture. The tiles and plates are upended. I've come to learn that in many paintings featuring the Adoration of the Kings, there are often signs of disrepair. In other words, the "part of the world as they knew it was falling apart." At the same time a new age, a new day is being created and birthed.

"The world is broken and now
All in sorrow
Wise men hang their heads"
Lullaby to an Anxious Child by Sting & Dominic Miller

I recently heard this song by Sting. This particular stanza is an amazing lyric. It summarizes what many people feel at this time in our experience. And yet these words are a lullaby for a child. They are descriptive for what many people feel and experience on a daily basis.

"Friends and dear ones from our yesterdays
Coming home to that familiar place
A sigh catches your breath then a smile for
The season of stars and promises"
Stars and Promises by Peter Mayer

I am becoming more and more convinced about the power and need for community. And like many things perhaps community is not so much the destination, but rather the journey. Over the past few years I have remarked that most people I know who join church come looking for a sense of community. They are hungry for a place and space where they're welcomed and accepted. However, sometimes church in its feebleness or shortsightedness offers people an opportunity to serve on a committee instead of the real deal, community. There is no doubt that sometimes community is a byproduct of being on a committee. But, there's no guarantee.

"The Christmas star, shines from afar
a herald of joy far and wide
Break out the lights Christmastide"
Ring Out The Bells by Peter Mayer

table cloth

"Love is in short supply such an obvious demand
Shouldn't be so hard to understand
We hang the lights for hope look for the star to follow
Peace on earth for what it's worth is in our hands"
This Christmas by Peter Mayer, Jim Mayer, Mac McAnally

On Sunday, January 3rd, Eleanor Tanner (the mother of good friend Bob Tanner and mother-in-law of Cynthia Tanner who designs these devos for us) died after a long illness. She was, in the words of Cynthia, "a wonderful, caring person."

On Monday, January 4th, it was the two-year anniversary of my Father's death at the age of 90 years. On Monday morning, I officiated at a funeral service for a three-year-old little boy who died in a car accident on December 23rd, 2009. The family of this child are not members of our church, but the local funeral home contacted me and asked if I'd help the family. My response was, "of course." I said in my homily, "As we lift up our eyes to the hills, we hold onto promises and let those promises hold onto us." I know it deep in my heart and soul, in the very fiber of my being that a passage that St. Paul wrote to the Christians in Romans, to be true, "nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8)

"In living and dying, laughing and crying
The words of the Lord remain true
Nothing can sever this gift of forever
And each Christmas night the star's guiding light will find you."
Love is Born Anew by Peter Mayer

Celebrate the Season of Stars and Promises,

Ps -we'll be back on Ash Wednesday, February 17th
Until then, check out my exercise blog
and some twitter accounts of mine:

Sundays and Seasons
Blessing of the Home at Epiphany
Matthew writes that when the magi saw the shining star stop overhead, they were filled with joy. "On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother" (Matt. 2:10-11). In the home, Christ is met in family and friends, in visitors and strangers. In the home, faith is shared, nurtured, and put into action. In the home, Christ is welcome.
Twelfth Night (January 5) or another day during the season of Epiphany offers an occasion for gathering with friends and family members for a blessing of the home, using the following as a model. Someone may lead the greeting and blessing, while another person may read the scripture passage. Following an eastern European tradition, a visual blessing may be inscribed with white chalk above the main door; for example, 20 + CMB + 10. The numbers change with each new year. The three letters stand for either the ancient Latin blessing Christe mansionem benedica, which means, "Christ, bless this house," or the legendary names of the magi (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar).
May peace be to this house and to all who enter here.
By wisdom a house is built
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.
See Proverbs 24:3-4.
As we prepare to ask God's blessing on this household,
let us listen to the words of scripture.
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through him,
and without him not one thing came into being.
What has come into being in him was life,
and the life was the light of all people.
The Word became flesh and lived among us,
and we have seen his glory,
the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth.
From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
John 1:1-4, 14, 16
This inscription may be made with chalk above the entrance:
20 + C M B + 10
The magi of old, known as
C: Caspar,
M: Melchior, and
B: Balthasar
followed the star of God's Son who came to dwell among us
20: two thousand
10: and ten years ago.
+: Christ, bless this house,
+: and remain with us throughout the new year.
Prayer of Blessing
O God,
you revealed your Son to all people
by the shining light of a star.
We pray that you bless this home and all who live here
with your gracious presence.
May your love be our inspiration,
your wisdom our guide,
your truth our light and your peace our benediction;
through Christ our Lord.
Then everyone may walk from room to room, blessing the house with incense or by sprinkling with water, perhaps using a branch from the Christmas tree.
From Sundays and Copyright 2010 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #26681.

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage." 3When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
6'And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.'"
7Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage." 9When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.