January 7, 2015 | Issue 9

Chaplains' Newsletter
Happy New Year

Having gorged myself at my parents home over Christmas, when I came back to London, I found my fridge pretty much empty, but grateful for the Chinese restaurant across the street, where with the swipe of card, I can get some very tasty soup. 

 

Soup was not to be had on the evening of December 27th.

 

On the way over with dog in tow, I was stopped by a young native couple on the corner asking if I could spare a bus ticket or a couple of bucks. 

 

To make a long story a little shorter, the couple told me that they were wanting to get to the south end of the city where they could meet family.

 

It was cold.  It was getting late so I offered them a ride.

 

The young woman was visibly pregnant and there was an obvious learning disability and I am not sure what I would have felt like leaving them on the corner waiting for a bus, while "LONDON TRANSIT" was on holiday hours.

 

The story gets a bit crazier over the next few hours. 

 

We got to the south end and they were turned away by someone who was obviously drunk.

 

The young woman cried.

 

The young man told me he was hungry and I had the sense that my twenty minute good deed was quickly spiraling into a much longer affair.

 

Sucking up my "new-found" resentment, everyone got back in the car.

 

From there we went to Chippewa of the Thames, from there to the community and Oneida and finally after a spicy chicken sandwich, a few donuts, a few double-doubles and a stop at a local "smoke shack" and a few phone calls, we finally found a place at the Muncee First Nation that would provide them a place to sleep.

 

As we pulled up to the a house which looked abandoned, without a sign or a street sign in sight, thanking God for the gift of my GPS, I was asked to leave the lights on, pointed at the door, until they got in and settled.

 

We got out of the car, hugged, said good-bye and they made their way to the front door.
 

I looked up to find the sky ablaze with stars. 

 

In the Letter to the Hebrews we read: "Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it."

 

This past Sunday, the Church celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany. The word "epiphany" comes from the Greek word meaning manifestation. In the Church's of the east, Christmas, the Visitation of the Magi and the Baptism of the Lord, are described as different types of epiphanies or revelations.

 

While the narrative given to us at Christmas and the narrative of the Shepherds coming to pay Jesus homage, focus on God coming to the Jewish people, today's story reminds us that God's grace and love have been provided not only to the Jewish people but to people of every race and nation, from age to age.

 

We are not told how many came to visit Jesus, only that there were three gifts presented.

 

The three gifts had a spiritual meaning that would have been understood by the first people to have heard this story.  Gold as a symbol of kingship on earth, frankincense (an incense) as a symbol of the gods, and myrrh (an embalming oil) as a symbol of death.

Last week, God made himself known through chicken sandwiches, stale cigarettes and a brilliant sky.

 

And I think - that Joseph, Mary and the Infant Jesus were given shelter.

 

On the Feast of the Epiphany, God, we are reminded, is ever near to us and through the mystery of the Incarnation, the Word becoming flesh, all of creation has been deemed to by God to be holy and God's presence is to be found, if we are willing to seek him, everywhere.

 

Sometimes, there will be signs that lead us closer to God.

 

Sometimes, when God is sought, signs will be provided us.

 

Stars will lead us to Christ.

 

Christ will lead us to see the stars.       

 

As this New Year opens up before us and the Christmas Season comes to a conclusion, I pray that this new term bring you and your students great blessings.



Yours in His Service,


Michael Bechard (Rev.)

Director of Campus Ministry

King's University College

Michael.Bechard@kings.uwo.ca

Upcoming Events
Fed & Taught: Ministry at the table of the word and sacrament 
Each workshop will address current practice in the Diocese of London for Lectors and Auxiliary Ministers of Holy Communion. Click here for workshop dates and locations.

Veritas Series
How to Tell a Beautiful Story: The Tale of Joseph in the Qur'an
Jan. 22, 7:30pm
Joanne & Peter Kenny Theatre, Darryl J. King Student Life Centre, 266 Epworth Ave, London
A free lecture by Dr. Ingrid Mattson. Click here for more details.

A New Leaf: Confronting a Food Crisis
Jan. 15, 7-9pm
Vitali Student Lounge, 266 Epworth Ave, London
A Salt + Light Television production. Contact Annette for more details.

Veritas Series
Sacred Symbol. Sacred Art. 
Feb. 5, 7:30pm
Joanne & Peter Kenny Theatre, Darryl J. King Student Life Centre, 266 Epworth Ave, London
A free lecture by Jonathan Pageau. Click here for more details.
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Office of Campus Ministry | Christ the King University Parish  
King's University College
266 Epworth Avenue
London, Ontario, N6A 2M3
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