Epiphany

A Greek Orthodox troparion of the nativity:

Apolytikion: (Fourth Tone)

Your birth, O Christ our God, dawned the light of knowledge upon the earth. For by Your birth those who adored stars, were taught by a star, to worship You, the Sun of Justice and to know You, Orient from on High. O Lord, glory to You.

One theory of the pilgrimage of the Magi is that Daniel, as head of the wise men in Babylon, had taught them the prophecy of the star from the book of Numbers. Today, Iraq is suffering much. Two cities have fallen to Al-Qaeda, and tensions between the Shiite prime minister and the Sunni majority have grown.

Your birth, O Christ our God, dawned the light of knowledge in Iraq. Were they the first Gentiles to honor, worship, and adore You? Were they not drawn by the light? Were they the first Gentiles to give You gifts?
Arise, O Sun of righteousness with healing in Your wings. Arise in the nation of Iraq and say,

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Amen.

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