The trees have come down, the carols have been retired, the sanctuary looks a bit bare (and perhaps our homes as well). It’s easy to dismiss this green season after Epiphany, one of our “ordinary times,” as fluff between Christmas and Lent. But the theme of this season, this epiphany, is an important one – one that matters deeply in our world today: Jesus, the light of the world, is shining in our midst. Jesus is continually being revealed in the world, bringing salvation and transformation to all dark and troubled hearts and corners.
As the Church, part of our job is to testify to this light, to point to Jesus. In this sense, the Church is like a finger pointing to the moon – like John’s Gospel suggests of John the Baptist, we ourselves are not the light, but we testify to the light. Our call is to help others see and know this light of Christ in their lives and the world – the love of God incarnate in our own time.
It is important to ponder, then, where we ourselves see and know this light of Christ, that we may share it with others. As we journey through this epiphany season together, I hope we can keep our eyes, ears, and hearts open to where we are witnessing Christ in our world, and that we may share those God sightings. There are at least a few obvious places to start.
Every time we gather for worship together, Christ is present in visible, audible, tangible, even eatable and drinkable ways. Worship is time to regularly be reminded of God’s promises – of God’s unconditional love that changes everything. What a wonderful blessing that we have a community that exists to proclaim a message of love! Although worship can sometimes seem like a chore, it is an opportunity to draw us ever closer into relationship with the Holy One who loves us.
- Spiritual practice
I know that we all get busy. Life’s commitments, challenges, and surprises always keep us planning and adapting. We can become pretty caught up in the mundane as well as the unexpected, and in a sense, we can fall into a kind of autopilot – asleep at life’s wheel as we just truck along. But if we are asleep, how will we witness the light of Christ when it presents itself? In other words, if we are not intentionally watching, how can we expect to not miss it? Having a daily or regular prayer, meditation, devotional, or spiritual practice serves as a kind of wake up. It’s a reminder to pay attention to where God’s love, the light of Christ is shining so we know it when we see it.
Since the Church’s inception, we have emphasized serving the poor as the location of God’s heart and the focus of our relationship with God and the world. Whether you serve through helping with one of St. Mark’s ministries, or volunteer in your own way in the community/world, service to others always leads to powerful and profound God sighting stories. Don’t forget to share yours in Sunday during worship when asked!
Blessings in this season of Epiphany, dear Church. May you witness the light of Christ shining in your own life and in this world.