“What was invisible we behold,
What was unknown is known.
Open our eyes to the light of grace,
Unloose our hearts from fear,
Be with us in the strength of love
Lead us in the hope of courage…” A Prayer by Evelyn Francis Capel
Epiphany, a season of new becoming, of expectation fulfilled. Traditionally celebrated in the Eastern church as the day of Jesus’ baptism, and in our tradition as the coming of the world through the Magi to Jesus’ door. On Epiphany, our eyes open to the shock of God-with-us.
Now that God’s presence is made clear as an unexpected guest standing in the living room, what do we do with this revelation? God-with-us means our lives change. When we take up a new and intimate relationship, it demands our time and attention, it is dynamic, messy, time-consuming, filled with joy and fraught with difficulty. A time of growing to know one another is required, sleepless nights, day dreaming days, wondering what will be.
Relationship with God-with-us in the person of Jesus the Christ points us toward the question, “How will I be changed?” When we are simply acquainted with someone, we may give a passing nod and exchange warm greetings at the grocery store. Relationships require commitment, accountability, regular contact, truth-telling, a willingness to be shaped by the presence of a loving other, and to cherish and treat one another graciously.
How can our dawning relationship with this Jesus develop any other way? As in Epiphany what was invisible, we now behold, now much is required of us in response. When you think of how you demonstrate love towards someone you cherish, now consider how you might similarly demonstrate your love of God. As this new year approaches, consider how you might talk less about your love of God and show it more. Then watch and see where love may lead.
Wherever this finds you, Merry Christmas.
Dr. Anna V. Copeland
Senior Minister, Community Church of Vero Beach