A Minister’s Musings……..ABOUT EPIPHANY (January 11/18)
Our adventure together has begun! I feel quite honoured and privileged to join the ministry team at Central as, together, we plot a plan of action for moving forward during the time that I am with you. I have enjoyed meeting so many of you already and I look forward to more of that as the months unfold.
I love to write! So I thought you might enjoy a word or two from me from time to time. I am always jotting down random thoughts on any random number of topics — spiritual, emotional, theological and, yes, sometimes even political. I hope that what I say will prove informative, comforting, challenging or educational, depending on the topic. These blogs won’t be too long and can easily be read as you are munching your morning breakfast cereal!
The Christmas tree has been packed away now, along with all the ornaments. You are starting to use the gift cards you were given just to be sure you don’t lose them! And we, in the church, are in the midst of the Season of Epiphany. It is a season of light. And aren’t we grateful for a season of light in the midst of our winter darkness? The word epiphany means “manifestation” and during the five weeks of Epiphany that await us, we will be studying the stories of how light radiated from Jesus, growing stronger and stronger as he undertook his ministry in Palestine. More and more of his ministry is being revealed or manifested during Epiphany.
As we begin our Epiphany journey, we hear that Jesus is calling together the band of men and women who will surround him, be taught by him and then carry on his ministry after he leaves. Jesus was a fairly charismatic fellow, but when he calls Nathanael to join him on the journey, Nathanael brazenly says, “What good can come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:43-48) Jesus came from a part of Palestine that was considered the “backwater” of the country, peopled by peasants who eked out a subsistence living in the dry, hilly part of the region to the north. Nathanael was scornful of what Jesus was trying to say and do. He has to be convinced to give up his life and follow the rag tag band of disciples who surrounded Jesus.
So, I ask the same question of you, “What good can come out of your life?” Are you willing to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, totally uncertain of what is to come? Can you stand in the face of injustice, name it as such and seek to change it? Are you brave enough to speak words of hope and joy to those whom you meet? Are you willing to risk the hurtful stare and the brazen dismissal of you when you speak of unconditional love and forgiveness? Lots of people would laugh you out of the room! Or tweet something derogatory about you.
All of us, as a people of faith, will be asked these questions at some point during our lifetimes. How will we respond? Will we have the courage to stand in the light?