As I write this, I feel a little burned out from Christmas. It has been said that “Christmas falls like a seed on soil exhausted by too many harvests” or sometimes we are of two minds about how we welcome the Christ child into our lives and hearts. We are a little like the Inn Keeper: we want the child around but maybe “outback.” Having said that, I have just said goodbye to Erin again who has emailed me that she has safely arrived in Afghanistan and thanks me for a wonderful Christmas. It couldn’t have been a better Christmas with everyone safely gathered in enjoying one another’s company.
Imagining her arrival in Afghanistan which many have said is a place of beauty even though it looks like in many places craters on the moon. I suppose Epiphany is a season that is best described as a blossom in which we discover the wonder of God’s presence in our life. Epiphany is characterized by the journey of the wise men found in Matthew 2: 1-12 where three Persians sometimes called Kings or Magi follow a star that leads them to Bethlehem. Actually from Matthew’s point of view, these are authentic spiritual seekers who are journeying in search of truth and hunger for a deeper meaning to life’s questions.
In the sermon on the mount, Matthew reports Jesus saying: “Ask, and it will be given you; search and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you (Matt. 7:7).” This is an invitation for you to seek and ask deeper questions of yourself and of the universe. This may ask something of you too; that you journey long and hard to discover what God is doing in the world and what you need to be doing yourself.
St. Augustine has a very famous passage in his confessions: “The heart is restless until it finds it’s rest in thee.” I have never understood hearts that weren’t restless. I even have a hard time trying to understand bright and intelligent people who aren’t hungering for God. People who aren’t looking and searching to discover a message that will enable them to find light for their journey, meaning for their lives and a sense of fulfillment for their soul. You are just kidding yourself if you are not hungry for spiritual things unless your soul has shrunk or shriveled to where you have no appetite at all. For me, our universe is fraught with wonder and purpose. I feel I don’t have enough time or enough energy to embrace the many opportunities that invite me into the lives, and the great moments that are available for me to learn, grow and blossom. When Jesus says “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” He is really offering an invitation to journey in a deeper way to where we might find fertile soil to take root and to blossom.
The church lives by seasons. Advent is a time of anticipation, Christmas is the miracle of the incarnation of the word becoming flesh in a baby and Epiphany is the manifestation of our Lord to the whole world. It is the invitation to blossom, to learn, to discover and to embrace this mystery of God that becomes known to us in Jesus Christ.
The invitation is always there for all of us who hunger for God to come to Christ’s table and receive the bread of life. Commit yourself as much as you can to as much of God as you believe in….That is an honest commitment. Make that commitment, not for your own sake alone but for the sake of others, of this community and of the world.
There is a lot of brokenness and pain in this world but in the words of Leonard Cohen from his song anthem “Ring the bells that still can ring, forget the perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”
May the light of Christ enter in to the broken places of your life and of this world. Happy Epiphany.