Welcome to Grace! Bienvenido a La Gracia!

To Love, Proclaim, and Serve God through

Amar, Proclamar y Servir a Dios a través de

  • life-giving liturgical worship
  • joyful community
  • empowering others

We live our mission through worship, in which lay adults, children and youth participate alongside our clergy.  Traditional, life-giving Eucharistic liturgy and fine music are hallmarks of worship at our parish, and we have weekly services in both English and Spanish.  We create a joyful community with a harvest of fellowship activities and events for all ages.  We empower and serve others through vital ministries, particularly around feeding the hungry.  Please explore our website to get to know us or, better yet, come visit!

For more information or to be added to our mailing list, please contact us at welcome@gracealex.org.

 

 

From the Associate Rector: The Journey of the Magi

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain
Moor and mountain
Following yonder star.

We three kings of Orient are, John Henry Hopkins, Jr.

This weekend we mark the Feast of the Epiphany, celebrating the journey of the Magi – also known as the Three Wise Men or Three Kings – who came with gifts to worship the Child Jesus shortly after his birth.

“Following yonder star”, the magi – possibly magicians or astrologers – traveled from the East. We do not know if they came from Babylon, Persia, or Arabia. Later traditions would make them kings instead of magi. The study of Scriptures probably played a role in calling them kings. Psalm 72:10-11 says, “Let the kings of Tarshish and of the islands bring presents; The kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts. And let all kings bow down before him.” Tradition would also name the magi Melchior, Caspar, and Balthasar, but Matthew does not say that there were three of them. The tradition that there were three magi probably arose from the three gifts they brought: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

What I find most remarkable about the magi is the common bond that brought them together and made their journey possible. The Gospel of Matthew tells us that “wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage” (2:1-2). The magi discerned the birth of a special king, and they journeyed to pay him homage. When they found the child, “they were overwhelmed with joy.” They knelt down before him and paid him homage. This is what their journey was all about. This is what gives the story of the magi its purpose, its direction, and its culmination.

I marvel at the story behind this story. I wonder how they met and how they discovered the star. I am fascinated by their common passion for finding the newborn king. A common passion is what gives birth to a community. A shared purpose is what brings people together and makes them strong.

This makes me ponder about the shared purposes that bring us together at Grace. Our common passion to lift up our hearts and minds in worship of God, to create joyful connections with one another, and to serve the people in our larger community. This is what brings us together. This is what makes our bonds stronger. This is what cures the terrible disease of loneliness. This is what transforms our lives and develops our gifts to love and serve more creatively. This is what overwhelms us with joy – what prepares us to pay God homage.

This epiphany, I pray that we may follow the star that gives us common purpose. The star that sets us in a common journey of prayer and peace-making. The star that inflames our hearts with faith, hope, and love. The star that leads to Jesus. May we bow down before him together to offer him our gifts and our hearts – to worship him and to have our bonds of friendship strengthened and transformed.

Happy feast of the Epiphany! ¡Feliz Dia de Los Reyes Magos!

 

Looking for a way to celebrate the Epiphany?

Please join us this Friday, January 5th at 7 pm for the celebration of The Epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ – The Three Kings.  This is a Bilingual Festival Eucharist with incense followed by fellowship.