The Epiphany – breaking the barriers between sacred and secular


As I’m starting to make my way around the Diocese of Rhode Island on my visitations, I’m delighted to find that a number of our churches are already set up to record and share the weekly sermons posted from their pulpits. This past week I was at the Church of the Epiphany in Rumford (East Providence) and I discovered that they regularly video and then post the sermons.

So here’s a video of me preaching the Sunday sermon. If you’ve ever wondered how my gestures connect with the audio some of you have been listening to, here’s your chance to see.

The sermon focuses on the way that the Magi, the best astronomers of their day, found the Christ child not through a miracle, but by observing the sky. It’s essentially the strongest demonstration of the idea that is most completely found in the field of Natural Theology; we can learn about God by studying God’s creation.

I worry that too many of us have created a barrier in our lives between our sacred selves and our secular selves. In the sermon I use the example of the Magi to urge people in the congregation to work to seek God not only in the sacred precincts of our worship spaces, but at the place where they work, where they live and in all possible places.

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...


  1. Susan Rock says

    A powerful lesson and grand call to action in the New Year. I/We miss you so very much and cherish the opportunity to still follow you in the journey. Wishing you and yours the best of the New Year. Susan Rock – Trinity Cathedral

  2. Sandy Niles says

    For an amazing meld of the secular and deep Christian meanings, try to catch the Chorus of Westerly’s Celebration of Twelfth Night this coming weekend. An original script evokes ancient legends in the culmination of a 5-year story cycle that pits dark against light, love against chaos. There is a star field, garden, dragon, love story, death and resurrection. There are jesters, dancers, amazing singers, gymnasts, actors of all ages, and surprises. Entertaining and moving… like Nick’s sermons!

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