Saturday, January 5, 2008

Epiphany Thoughts

My husband has left this morning to go pick up the dogs. These are the dogs he has joint custody of, who live with his ex-wife most of the time. This will be my new step-dog's first visit to our home and I hope they have a good time together (the two dogs and the man who loves them so fiercely). What this trek means for me this morning is a couple of unexpected hours of quiet in our house. I have been needing a few hours of quiet; I need it more and more the older I get. However, if we are lucky enough to have a baby any time soon as we are hoping, I know that my "alone time" will be non-existent. Anyway, its fun to have a few hours of time in which I can steal away and write or read or just simply be.

I'm from a low-church protestant tradition, The Christian Church (Disciple of Christ), and every year I have to remind myself- what is Epiphany again? Since I've been in ministry in my current context we have celebrated each year, but I am sometimes at a loss for how to officially describe this Sunday. As best I can remember we celebrate the coming of the light. We continue to celebrate the light that came in the form of Jesus Christ that cannot be overcome by darkness according to the Gospel of John. We celebrate that brilliant star that guided the wise men on their journey as they sought out their new king, this tiny, baby Jesus. "Star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauties bright,"- you know, that star?

Maybe Epiphany is our wake up call to the Good News of Jesus' birth. We have talked about this impending birth for over a month now. We have talked about how wonderful it will be in the world, and how it will change everything. But if you're anything like me, you might be experiencing some post-holiday let down and forget all about that good news. All the family has been seen, all the presents have been opened, all the goodies consumed, and all the decorations have been taken down (not at church, but at home). So what's the good news now Jesus? Maybe Epiphany is when we remember that Christ's birth really did change our lives.

One of the most interesting parts of the Epiphany story for me is that the wise men went home by another way (thanks revgalblogpals for today's entry!). Their experience with the living Christ was so profound and powerful, that they knew they could not reveal his whereabouts to King Herod, so they went home by another way. After her sabbatical, my friend Dee now takes a different path to church. No, not metaphorically, she literally changed the way she drives to work after all the God-closeness time. Something in her is different, something in the magi was different as they went home by another way, is something in us different after the celebration of the birth of our savior? I can only hope that I am different. And if I haven't figured it all out yet, then I hope in the coming weeks as we lead our congregation and ourselves through the vital stories of the life of Jesus- that I will constantly become different in the light of God's love. That is my Epiphany prayer.


Diane said...

like your star -- and your thoughts! I like what your friend does .... literally takes another route.

Katherine said...

As a fellow Disciple, I've also struggled with how to "do" feasts like Epiphany. I especially love Epiphany, though. I used that James Taylor song last year and emphasized the "home by another way" aspect- which is beautiful. (I love how that pastor literally drove home by another way...) This year we did a modified lessons and carols style service, and I read "The Three Wise Women," a gorgeous children's book. It was a very Disciple way of celebrating Epiphany- casual and homegrown. :-)