Taking the light of Jesus into the world

The bonfire flames burn tall and bright on this Epiphany night as Episcopalians gather to burn the greens that decorated our churches and homes. Our creches are neatly packed away.  

This night ignites the light of Christ in our hearts. The gospel call is put into action. Christ did not stay in the creche. Jesus goes into the world in love and light, spreading hope and bestowing grace in dark places. The flames of light on this dark night are a reflection of the call our Lord Jesus Christ has placed in each of our hearts – to follow Jesus and spread the good news into the world. If ever the good news and love of our Triune God was needed, it is in this year and this era.

Epiphany also marks the end of the Christmas season, sometimes referred to as the twelve days of Christmas. We also celebrate the Magi, who travel following the bright light in the West to see the fulfillment of the ancient prophesy of the birth of the Messiah, the King, Immanuel, God with us.  

It is the night that the angels visited Joseph to warn him of the danger to Mary and Jesus, the two fragile and vulnerable loved ones, which God has put in his care. Joseph, being the faithful and obedient servant of God, quickly takes his family away to safety under the cover of darkness. He heads toward Egypt, a place that once had enslaved the Hebrew people. He leads his family away from their hometown of Bethlehem, occupied by Roman soldiers. Away from the threats of Herod, who issued a decree to kill all boys under the age of two in Bethlehem. 

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph became refugees. Another powerful witness of finding God in the most unexpected of places.

During this season after Epiphany,  All Saints’ is continuing to bring light to others in the name of Christ.  

Our ministry outreach during these weeks is to children in protective custody and foster care. Often children removed from home or dangerous situations leave with only the clothes on their backs or a trash bag stuffed with belongings.

Our hope as a church family is to spread the love, light, and hope of Christ to children in crisis. We are collaborating with Cabarrus Partnership for Children initiative with DSS to create Duffle Bags of Hope.

Even during this time of closure due to Covid, you are invited to purchase items from this list and leave them at the church office. We’d like to focus on older children, ages 12-16, in foster care. Please select clothing sizes from medium to XL. Also, all items must be NEW. Before bringing your donations, please call the church office at 704-782-2024 to confirm that a staff member is available to receive your donation. Donations will be stored in the Deacons’ Den.

If you prefer to make a monetary donation, you may send a check to the church with “Duffle Bags for Hope” on the memo line or make a donation online and indicate “Duffle Bags for Hope” in the “optional memo” box.

It costs approximately $300 to create one complete Duffle Bag for Hope. All gifts are appreciated.

Let’s celebrate the love of Christ in our lives and let the light shine brightly into the lives of children in crisis this season.

May your light shine brightly into the darkness this Epiphany season.

In love,

Deacon Jackie+