We began our worship with the reading of the ‘begats’ verses of Matthew 1 as explained in John Bell’s excellent book ’10 things they never told me about Jesus’. As the reading ensues, another voice interjects with details of the four women named in Jesus’ genealogy. Two, at least, were gentiles and all of them had dubious sexual pasts. This was a perfect reading for Epiphany of inclusivity, of good news for all people and it was certainly a revelation! Then we used the following:
A traditional blessing of your home at Epiphany:
The blessing of the home is an Epiphany custom. The wall beside your entrance door is marked in chalk with the year and the inscription CMB – Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which means, “Christ, bless this home.”
(the current year, the initials of the first words of the blessing – connected with crosses to represent the four seasons; the initials also stand for Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar – the traditional names of the wise men.)
While chalking the inscription – the following blessing is said (and you’ll see that we adapted this for ThirdSpace):
Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only-begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star; Bless this (house and all who live here) bandstand and all who enter here. Fill us with the light of Christ, that our love for others may truly reflect your love.
May all who come to (our home) ThirdSpace this year rejoice to find Christ living among us; may we seek and serve, in everyone we meet, Jesus who is Lord forever and ever. Amen
We prayed by laying down stones in the centre of our circle, as we named people, situations and places close to us and further afield. As each prayer was spoken we each added our own stones to endorse the prayer. By doing this we watched our prayers build up to make something substantial and strong.
For the bread and wine we used the followinf words written by Steve:
The story of the Wise Men who travelled from afar, reminds us that God’s love incarnated in Jesus is not good news for one group of people, one class, one tribe or nation but it is good news for all people everywhere – for princes and paupers, for prostitutes and popes. It is that good news of our redemption in Jesus which we celebrate today in this bread and wine.
Remembering our fellowship with Christians the world over, we share this bread.
Remembering the suffering of Christians in our world, we drink this wine.
Let us go out with the CMB – Christus Mansionem Benedicat – in our thoughts, intentions and words wherever we go this week and this year. May we incarnate that blessing in our lives. AMEN
Then it was off to the cafe to share thoughts on the reading, news of our lives and to plan our weekend away. Wonderful!