Epiphany 2021

 "Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.  Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' arms. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you." (Isaiah 60:1-5)

Today is Epiphany.  The time in the Christian calendar that marks when the magi arrive to see Jesus. You know:  "In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, 'Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.' When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, 'In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:  'And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.' Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage." When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road." (Matthew 2: 1-12)

You'll notice that I didn't say three kings because who knows exactly who or how many there were.  Magi could maybe have even been women.  (Although the joke is that if they were women they certainly would have brought gifts that were more appropriate; like diapers, but that's a whole other joke.)  They traveled far; did it really only take them two weeks to get from wherever they were from to the baby?  Who it seems is no longer in a stable, but in a house.  When did they move?  It doesn't even say baby; it says child.  Maybe it didn't take them a few weeks, but a few years?  I don't know.  It's a question for a Biblical scholar, of which I am NOT.

What I am is your semi-average woman; a mother, wife and daughter living in this still crazy time; even though I am hopeful that the world will somewhat return to an even keel this year.  In my mind, today marks the end of the Christmas season and tomorrow my decorations will start to come down.  Normally, I'd be encouraging everyone to take their decorations, particularly their lights, down.  But this year, while I am going to take my decorations and lights down, there will be no shaming if you leave yours up.  We NEED light.  We NEED hope.  We NEED promise of better things to come.

That is why I started this post with the lines (which are part of today's lectionary) from Isaiah.  Furthermore, today I think we all (no matter what religion we do or do not follow) need to hear good news and be uplifted.  We need to feel and ACT together so that we ALL can be part of the light that shines over this planet.

So if you take down your decorations/lights today, tomorrow, this weekend or never, know that the light that shines the brightest is the light that comes from within you.

Shine on.


Popular posts from this blog

As Is

Dear Mom & Dad: Coming to a Close

Where Is My Document & Check?