Welcome to the Season of Epiphany! It is the season of relishing the gift of the Light of Christ that comes into our world.
Into our hearts and minds and bodies, as well as our spirits, we receive God’s grace “incarnationally.” This is real goodness from God, not unlike the “real presence” of Christ that we pray for and receive when we celebrate Communion. At Epiphany, we read in the gospel Matthew that Royal Wise Ones bring gifts to Jesus. This story reminds us that God is bringing us gifts to enjoy and use for the benefit of others.
I just learned that one way of looking at the story of the Magi is to see that Royalty is arriving to honor and worship the Royalty of Jesus, who is God with us. One more step would be to consider that God is treating us as “royalty” as God is blessing us with Light and Love, Joy and Peace, and the many “gifts of the Spirit.” So, welcome to “The Company of God’s Royals!”
We can celebrate Epiphany and perform our various ministries through both giving and receiving. “We love because God first loved us.” So, take in the sights and sounds, the aromas and flavors, the wonders and joys of the season. Our response is to be grateful, happy for the gifts that God lavishes upon us and into us.
What I’m sure is very apparent to us is the ache we feel when we cannot physically BE together as a congregation during this Season of Covid. We still cannot celebrate in all of the ways that mean so much to us.
Still, I am grateful that, in our efforts to find ways to worship together, to learn, and to care for one another, we ARE together, we are overcoming “social distancing,” at least in part with “spiritual closeness”. We are saying “Yes!” to love and relationships and what we value in our lives.
Maybe this Christmas and Epiphany have not been what we wanted, but this is our situation. This pandemic, our political upheaval, our racial division, our economic uncertainty are not going to prevent us from exploring with wonder, receiving love, appreciating what we’ve been given, and embracing beauty and graciousness with grateful hearts. Maybe this is what these winter celebrations are: invitations to share the goodness, to extend the love, and to BE the radiance that comes to us this Christmas.
The world needs us to be faithful to our calling, to remember what is holy and what needs to be celebrated. So, let us keep the feast and celebrate God’s gifts.
If you have the opportunity, I encourage you to take a bit of time to reflect on two other things:
- recall a memory of a past gift or blessing or experience that deeply touched your heart and maybe transformed your life, and
- think about this New Year that is opening before us.