The Light of Epiphany
Dear Kaleid Ladies,
Today is the celebration of Epiphany. Advent is over. Christmas is over. The light of Jesus has come to earth, and His light is a light for all people.
The very first converts to faith in Jesus were Gentiles. The non-Jewish Magi (likely of the zoroastrian faith) from Persia followed a star and found Jesus, where they knelt, worshipped, and offered gifts.
For the next several weeks, the church calendar invites us to celebrate the Light of Christ by walking with Jesus, reading the Gospels and welcoming the illumination of God-as-human to renovate our human sight. Epiphany offers a few grounding realities as we lean into 2021.
There is a path.
The Magi traveled a long way to get to Jesus. They set aside their normal life (whatever exotic or mundane things that it entailed) and became pilgrims, choosing to believe that the star was worth the trip. At a New Year, it’s always tempting to set the resolution or pick the word for the year and wake up the next day, disappointed to find that mission is not yet accomplished. Epiphany reminds us that worthy goals involve long, ordinary journeys of faith and faithfulness.
There is a light.
“Who do you say that I am?” is a question that Jesus asked people sometimes. The fact that Jesus came here and then left us with His story, with the Holy Spirit, and with His funky but beloved bride, the Church, means that we, too, are invited to look that question in the eye and answer it for ourselves. It is pertinent for us, too. The inbreaking, sometimes disorienting light of Jesus reminds us that we can allow the light of Christ to change us or we can deny that it’s anything special and keep sleeping under the canopy of stars with which we’re more familiar and comfortable. The penetrating light of Jesus functions to illuminate, to clarify, to expose, to soften, to guide, to warm, to bring contrast, to guide, and to orient us. It is complicated. It is good. And it becomes personal as we surrender to its truth.
There is a hope.
Those Magi were headed somewhere real. They believed that the light in the sky--the star--pointed to a new reality happening on earth. A redemptive heavenly inbreaking into the human situation had arrived, and they were on alert, intent on finding it. Our choice to be on faithful journeys and to allow God’s light in the dark places of our hearts bears fruit because the hope of Christ, God with us, is real. God is our redeemer. God has arrived. Hope invites our faith and fuels our love because God, who is love, joined us as one of us.
And so, we pray that your Epiphany will be filled with hope because the light of Christ is divine light and because the journey is worth it.
O God of light and peace, whose glory, shining in the child of Bethlehem, still draws the nations to yourself: dispel the darkness that shrouds our path, that we may come to kneel before Christ in true worship, offer him our hearts and souls, and return from his presence to live as he has taught. Amen.
(from the Revised Common Lectionary)
The Kaleid Team
P.S. You might also really enjoy reading this beautiful post and prayer about Epiphany as a chance to speak a house blessing over your home for the coming year.