As we move more fully into the season of Epiphany and ponder the meaning of this season in the Christian year, I want to offer the following prayer from "Cycle of Prayer for Episcopal Schools" (2nd edition, The Rev. John F. Smith). Although this prayer is designated for the first week of January, it is happily applicable throughout the month of January!
On a Morning of Sun (on Ice)
God, you throw us into life, into a creation like this morning, gleaming with light (and ice). In the mystery of your providence we find ourselves here, surrounded by people of talent and abilities of all sorts. Give us the gift of discernment, to see in and through light to find the meaning hidden in life, in creation, in our friends. Help us to see them and ourselves as objects of mystery, wonder, and beauty. Help us to live through the hard times (ice). Melt our cold hearts. Give us a warm spirit. Amen.
Our Episcopal schools are filled with students who possess talents and abilities of all sorts, and the special opportunity presented on a daily basis for all teachers is to challenge, assist, support and nurture each student in his/her ability to discover, develop and express his/her gifts. The Chaplain has the unique and wonderful opportunity to address the spiritual dimension in each student, and to challenge, assist, support and nurture each student he/she encounters to discover, develop and grow in what he/she believes. It is through these honest and open encounters of sharing with students in their questions of "faith" and "belief" that Chaplains shed the light that enables students "to find the meaning hidden in life, in creation, in their friends." And it is this ministry that warms the spirit of Chaplains!