My Epiphany message to you: Stay true to your assignments

Read time: Approx. 2:00 minutes

Our amazing galaxy. (NASA)

The brilliant and encouraging image of Epiphany, which church celebrates on January 6th, is that beautiful star in the night sky, guiding the Wise Ones, the Wisdom Seekers, to the place where a newborn Infant and Family will be found.

These Wisdom Seekers trust the bright light to guide them through the dark.

The Evangelist John writes in the Prologue (1:5) of his Gospel: “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

These words, written in present-tense then, remain present-tense today.

Sixteenth-century Carmelite mystic John of the Cross writes of the deeply human experience of “the dark night” when God cannot be sensed, when the soul seems abandoned, with no trace of light to guide.

These are those times, for us collectively.

In Matthew’s Gospel, the Epiphany story is a story of revelation of the Christ.

It also is a revelation of the fragile ego and outsized rage of King Herod at the thought that a Child might challenge his power. 

And it’s a story of God’s protection—of the Child, the Family, the Wisdom Seekers, and the story of the tragic witness of innocent infant boys in the surrounding region, slaughtered by occupying forces in a bloody effort to eradicate this new threat to Herod’s reign.

This, we proclaim, is all good news, the painful and astonishing revelation of God-with-us, Emmanuel.

So I encourage you, as we approach Epiphany 2022, January 6th, an anniversary of a different sort, etched in fresh and painful memory: Hold firm to the work before you. 

Do not be distracted by whatever tensions, chaos, or terrifying images or messages may play across your screen.

Stay true to your assignments. 

Is it tending to family? Is it showing up for work? Is it caring for fragile ones around you? Spending time in prayer? Living generously in the cause of Love?

Stay true to your assignments.

I tell myself the same.

Do not be sucked in to the vortex of fear and what-ifs and oh-nos. Stay at your post, focused, with firm intention and quiet heart.

Your work, like mine, is to stay true to the anointing you have received to be the public face of Christ. I mean a deep anointing for witness in the holy Spirit of the radically nonviolent Jesus and risen Christ.

We are a dispersed yet very present witness to peace. We must be. We are the right people sent to witness to peace in these times.

The world, whether it knows it or not, is counting on us to be peace, to hold steadfast, in Love, in these days of revelation in 2022.

Together, each in our own place, let’s show the world how it’s done.

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