You’d never know it by any measure of the length of day or month of the year, but on January 6th a new season begins. It’s called Epiphany which means “appearance” or “manifestation.” The main image of this season is the star which led the magi to find Jesus. So the Epiphany is all about God coming in and through Jesus to bring light and hope to the world.
All I can say, is bring it on! Can’t we all use a lot more light and hope? This particular week of chaotic events in the capitol of our nation reminds us that even the most stable or predictable of institutions can be rocked. To whom do we turn for help?
Epiphany says, God is here. Turn your hearts to God. A heart turned toward God is one that is aligned with God’s purposes. Those purposes, which are set out in the covenant - the commandments - are fully realized (which is to also say manifested) in Jesus. Jesus is God’s lovingkindness expressed bodily.
And perhaps this is something we really need to see and hear right now. Committing to Jesus, who is God-with-us means choosing lovingkindness over all other ways of being human. It’s not just loving. It’s loving-in-kindness.
I think we need to hear this again this Epiphany. That God is lovingkindness. Our way of being with God is practicing the way of lovingkindness. This is a much more difficult discipline than reciting a creed or taking an oath. But all who commit themselves to it will find they are never alone. God is with us.
The Rev. Beth Purdum Eden is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. She has served in more than 6 parishes in the Western United States for 30 years.