ANGLICAN CHURCH IN AMERICA
Diocese of the Northeast
Rt. Rev. Brian Marsh, Bishop

PRESIDING BISHOP'S EPIPHANY MESSAGE

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

Blessings to you all on this holy day!

 

The Epiphany is referred to as "the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles," for so it is. Those first gentiles, the ones we call "wise men," were indeed the first gentiles to travel to Bethlehem to see for themselves the Christ child. They brought gifts to this infant and they protected Him from the tyrant, Herod. After delivering their gifts and worshipping the child Jesus, they "departed into their own country by another way." They ignored the request of Herod, whose goal was to destroy Jesus. The magi left Bethlehem and they are lost to history.

 

Theirs was not an easy journey. The great Anglican divine, Lancelot Andrewes, writes of the magi, "what a cold coming they had of it." The journey of the wise men was arduous indeed. And it was more than a physical journey. Sometimes referred to as astrologers, those wise men needed to learn an entirely new way of discerning the presence of God. Though their travels in the very dead of Winter were difficult, this physical journey symbolized the even more the arduous spiritual journey they had undertaken. But despite all the challenges they faced, they came eventually to Bethlehem; they came into the presence of God. We can only imagine the joy they felt when, looking at the Christ child, they said to themselves: "all that we have been through, all, has been worth this moment we spend in the presence of God."

 

The last few years have been difficult ones for many of us in the Anglican Church in America. But through it all, we have sought to discern God's will. We have often told ourselves, that if we maintain our steadfast focus on the purpose for which we have been called by God, we, too, may stand in God's presence and say: "this journey has brought us to the place Thou hast called us to be. We give our thanks to Thee, our Lord and our God."

 

Your Brother in Christ,

 

+Brian