For four weeks before Christmas we waited and hoped and expected the coming of God in human form. At Christmas we said, “it’s here!” Now what? Today, January 6, is Epiphany – from the Greek word meaning “appearance” or “coming.” Traditionally, during this season Christians celebrate the appearance of divinity on earth through Jesus, starting with the story of the wise men from the East this Sunday in worship.
We have waited for, hoped for, expected that hope, peace, joy and love would come again. They have come in Jesus, and now what? Now we carry hope, peace, joy, and love into the world. We come together in worship and go out to serve. Continuing with our recent Spanish/English worship themes, during Epiphany we say, “Vengan…Let’s Go!”
We are under no illusion that this is easy. Nearly every day we are reminded of the brutality and apathy that undermine the creation of God’s beloved community as well as creation itself. Yet it is through the likes of us, as imperfect as we are, that God works. Denise Levertov’s poem entitled “On the Mystery of the Incarnation” puts it this way:
It’s when we face for a moment
the worst our kind can do, and shudder to know
the taint in our own selves, that awe
cracks the mind’s shell and enters the heart:
not to a flower, not to a dolphin,
to no innocent form
but to this creature vainly sure
it and no other is god-like, God
(out of compassion for our ugly
failure to evolve) entrusts,
as guest, as brother,
I hope to gather with you on Sunday to celebrate the Word, then go out to share and live and be the Word.
Happy New Year!