Greetings on this Epiphany – when we commemorate the stories of wise ones who were sent by one King to find another and find a humble child. This word Epiphany which began with its roots in the Greek meaning “apparition” has come to mean a sudden insight often provoked by simple things.
Honestly, it’s not a bad word to describe the last 9 months or so.
How something so humble as a virus can lay low something as complex as human civilization has provoked many epiphanies. Many of us are seeing the injustices in our systems. Others are finding large cracks in the structures of our churches. These moments of aha! are not always pleasant and seem to demand of us a course correction. Like those magi who found themselves moved to worship and then moved onto another path… we also are finding the need to seek other roads.
Another uncomfortable epiphany has been discovering our country is on fragile ground. Although the guardrails of our democracy appear to have held up in the courts, the court of public opinion is willing to march on Washington to demonstrate otherwise. There is fear for what comes next.
We can’t ignore this as a church. We’ve agreed to be guided by our Confessions… and if you haven’t recently read the Barmen Declaration, you need to do so now. The church has faced the King of Judea in many forms, and we affirm the faithful response is always to seek the Christ, worship, and return home by another path.
This Epiphany, I’d ask that we all return to the manger for a bit. Let us bow in worship. Let us lift our voices in prayer. Let us pray for our nation on this day when protestors assemble in Washington, D.C. Let us pray for our churches that their response may be faithful. Let us pray for peace that is rooted in justice.
Will you pray with me?