“Ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising” (Mt 2:9)
Guided by the one Lord

Ex 13:17-14:4 The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud
Ps 121 I lift up my eyes to the hills, from where will my help come?
Rev 22:5-9 For the Lord God will be their light
Mt 2:7-10 Ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising

Again and again the scriptures tell us how the Lord God walks with his people, protects them, and watches over them day and night. The path may not always be straight: sometimes we are led to retrace our steps, and at other times to return by a different route. But in all our journeying through life, we can be confident that God, who neither “sleeps nor slumbers”, protects us lest our feet slip and we fall.
Even in the greatest darkness, God’s light is with us. His light shines out through the prophets sent to guide God’s people on the way set before them and to remind them of the covenant. Most perfectly, in the fullness of time, God sends His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. He is the guiding light for all nations, the glory of God in the world, the source of divine life, sealing a new covenant in his blood.

The way ahead into unity with one another, and so into closer union with Christ, is not always clear. In our earnest attempts to build unity ourselves it is all too easy to lose sight of this fundamental message of the scriptures: that God does not abandon his people even in their failures and divisiveness. Not only is this a message of hope for Christians, but for the whole world. As the story of the Magi reminds us, God guides people of all kinds, with the light of the star, to where Christ, the light of the world, is to be found.
God sends the Holy Spirit whose light enables us to see with the eyes of faith the truth of the divine Child, and the call to unity and the reconciliation of all things in Him. It is this Spirit that leads us from darkness and tragedy into Christ’s light and life.

O Lord God our Father, you sent the star to lead the Magi to your only begotten Son. Increase our hope in you and let us know at all times that you are walking with us, watching over your people. Teach us to follow the guidance of your Holy Spirit, however strange the path may seem, so that we may be led to our unity in Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Open our eyes to your Spirit, and encourage us in our faith, so that we may confess that Jesus is Lord, and worship and rejoice in him as the Magi did in Bethlehem.
We ask you these blessings in the name of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.


“They saw the child with Mary his mother, and they knelt down and paid him homage” (Mt 2:11)
Gathered in worship around the One Lord

Ex 3:1-6 Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God
Ps 84 How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!
Rev 4:8-11 Worship the one who lives forever and ever
Mt 28:16-20 When they saw him, they worshipped him

When the Magi from their far-away countries arrived at Bethlehem and saw the child with his mother, they worshipped him. In the presence of this revelation of God among us, eyes are cast down and knees are bent. Similarly at the sight of the burning bush, Moses hid his face, afraid to look at God. When the disciples saw the risen Christ on the mountain in Galilee, they were amazed and troubled. Yet they worshipped him. In the heavenly liturgy, the twenty-four elders fall before Him who sits on the throne. Encountering God’s presence, we respond thus: gazing, followed by amazement, leading to worship.
Do we see? Are we amazed? Are we truly worshipping? How many times do we see without perceiving, our eyes remaining blind to God’s presence? How can we worship in truth if we do not see first? In our narrow vision, too often we see only our tangled disagreements, forgetting that the one Lord has given his saving grace to us all, and that we share in the one Spirit who draws us into unity. Often in our pride we follow our own laws and human traditions, whilst often disregarding the love we are called to share as one people justified by Christ’s blood, with a common faith in Jesus as our Saviour.
As communities enlivened by the Holy Spirit, our churches call us to walk together towards the Christ-Child to offer him homage as one people. The Spirit of compassion guides us to each other, and together guides us all to our one Lord. Only by following this guide will we be able to “worship in spirit and truth”. Our future in God is a future of unity and love; our way to this destination must reflect that same truth of oneness in Christ.

Compassionate God, you gave the blind the insight to recognize you as their Saviour, enable us to repent. In your mercy, remove the scales from our eyes and lead us to worship you as our God and Redeemer. In the midst of our sorrow and despite the depth of our sins, give us the capacity to love you with all our hearts. May we journey together guided by your light, with one heart and one mind, as were the very first disciples. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be upon us, so that together we glorify you in the Spirit’s fellowship, and witness to all those around us. Amen.


“Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Mt 2:11)
The gifts of communion

Hos 6:1-6 For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice
Ps 100 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise
Acts 3:1-10 I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you
Mt 6:19-21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

In our journey to Bethlehem, the city of bread, we contemplate the wise men who came to pay homage to the Christ-child. They opened their treasures and offered the newborn king their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Our historical divisions, our wrong-headed fixation with rules and rituals, and our preoccupation with worldly matters, have broken us apart. So, what gifts have we prepared to offer to the king who comes to illuminate our lives and lead us to the grace of unity? We know that God does not want our riches or burnt offerings, but rather that his power works through our poverty: “I have no silver or gold”. The Lord desires our beating and loving hearts: hearts full of love for Him and for our brothers and sisters in Christ from whom we are separated; hearts flowing with acts of mercy; and hearts truly penitent and desiring change.
Let us then prepare for him the gift of a heart full of love. Kneeling in worship requires hearts that are contrite for the sin that divides us and obedient to the One we serve. This obedience revives, heals and reconciles everything that is broken or wounded in us, around us, and among us as Christians.
Christ has already given the gift of unity to his Church. We grow in communion as we share the graces our different traditions have received, acknowledging that the source of all our gifts is the Lord.

All praise, glory and thanksgiving to you, O God. You have revealed yourself in the epiphany of your Son both to those who have long awaited your coming, and to those who were not expecting you. You know the suffering that surrounds us, the pain caused by our divisions. You see the world struggling and the deteriorating situation in the Middle East today – the place where you chose to be born, which was sanctified by your presence. We ask you to enable our hearts and our minds to know you. As we join the wise men coming from afar, we pray that you open our hearts to your love and to the love of our brothers and sisters around us. Give us the will and the means to work towards the transformation of this world and to offer each other gifts that may nurture our communion. Grant us your endless gifts and blessings. Receive our prayer in the name of your Son Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen.