Throughout my ministry, I have been the privileged confidante of concerns and fears of my parishioners. There was the elderly couple whose grandson was a drug addict. How do they save him? There was the empty nester couple who son transitioned to a woman. Will their friends at church ever talk to them again? There was the grandmother who worried that her grandchildren weren’t being baptized. Will they go to hell?
Today, January 6, we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany to honor the revelation of Jesus, of salvation, to the whole world. The wise men who came to worship the Christ child were not Jewish, but Gentile. Traditionally they have been understood as coming from the three known continents, Africa, Asia, and Europe, thereby representing the whole world. Epiphany is a recognition that God isn’t sending a Messiah just for the Israelites, but for all people. At the time, this was unprecedented! People were convinced down to their bones that they knew who God loved and who God didn’t. Epiphany is an “ah-ha” moment. Maybe God has a bigger plan and love for humanity than we sometimes realize. Maybe our little boxes of who is in and who is out don’t matter to God.
In this New Year, may we all have many “ah-ha” moments of seeing the love of God at work in our lives and those around us, even those whose choices, or intrinsic natures, are very different from ours.
You are very dear to me and to God in Christ.