A Calling to Fulfill Righteousness

"O God, you made of one blood all nations, and, by a star in the East, revealed to all peoples him whose name is Emmanuel. Enable us to know your presence with us so to proclaim his unsearchable riches that all may come to his light and bow before the brightness of his rising, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen." - Laurence Hull Stookey (#255 UMH).

This is the Epiphany Prayer, found in the United Methodist Hymnal. It calls upon God, who made us all one people, led by the light of the star in the East, by a few religious Gentile scholars, to the place where God in human form, God with us, was revealed to them and ultimately to all of humanity. This prayer states a desire for us to know God's presence through the Christ Child who became the source of salvation for this world. And then to proclaim the unlimited spiritual reserves of the wealth of God's love that cannot be found anywhere else to everyone, and for all to worship God through the Holy Spirit's power forever.

The fulfillment of the Epiphany Prayer comes when we each do as Jesus did in faithful obedience when he submitted to being baptized by John the Baptizer. When you read Matthew 3:13-17, you will see for yourself the great importance that Jesus placed on being publicly baptized. Then see if you can read between the lines of the conversation between Jesus and his second cousin John regarding him being baptized, and I hope that you will find a sense of the calling that Jesus had on him.

I pray that you will come to a knowledge of what Jesus' calling means for each of us and how baptism plays an essential role in discovering our own calling as a follower of Christ. Amen.

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