These weeks of Epiphany we are exploring what it means to be human through some of the characters of the gospel according to Matthew. With the magi, we have acknowledged that we live in a world of grace, with God seeking us out and drawing us in. With Herod, the big king who was threatened by the little King, we have acknowledged that there is something in us that resists the intrusion of God into ‘our’ world, and that the result includes the suffering of innocent others as well as our own. This morning we conclude by looking at the Christ child, and the new beginning we believe the Holy One has given us, and has given humanity, in him.

Jesus as a child in Nazareth

Jesus as a child in Nazareth

I like this painting a lot. It speaks of the return of the Holy Family from refuge in Egypt to settle in Nazareth (Matthew 2:19-23). But it speaks even more loudly to me of the humanity of Jesus. It reminds me of all those quiet years of our Lord spent ‘en famille’ and in ‘ordinariness’. Even more, it reminds me how Jesus laid down a new way for all humanity. This painting declares the great embrace of God in the incarnation by transposing the gospel narrative to a typical Cameroonian village. It is exciting to wonder about God growing a new humanity all around the world, perhaps even in my community and life!

It is part of an awesome series that can be seen at (with this painting reproduced with permission from Vanderbilt Divinity Library.)

Join us this Sunday to wonder, to pray, to praise. (A nursery is offered for infants, and programme during part of the service for children. Ample free parking is available on the street and in the public lot behind the church on Queen Street.) And linger afterwards for a monthly congregational pot-luck lunch!

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