After posting about Lent the past two days, I had to remind myself that it is still the season of Epiphany, the season of light in the midst of darkness. Epiphany began on January 6th with the light of the Bethlehem star leading the magi to baby Jesus (Matthew 2) and it ends Sunday, March 6, with the story of the Transfiguration when the glory of Jesus is revealed to the disciples in a blaze of light. And I certainly feel the need for light this winter.
Having grown up in Washington state, I had to learn to adjust to Minnesota winters. In the learning process, I discovered that for me the severity was not as difficult as the duration. I could be kind of macho about big storms or severe cold. I remember running with some friends in -15 below temperature, basically so we could brag to other runners about our devotion (or our foolishness?). But this winter seems to have started early and just settled
in for a long stay. And though we had a few days of teasing warmth last week, I know that winter could easily stretch into late March. I can wish or complain or rant or blog, but the climate will not relinquish its grip based on my reaction to it.
So I come back to the season of light, Epiphany, and the glimpses of God’s glory. One glimpse is that now, as I drive home, I see the sunset. And what glorious sunsets I have witnessed. Beauty is one way God reveals God’s self, even in the midst of a long winter. The sun light on freshly fallen snow has such an intensity that I have to squint or wear sunglasses. Yet not every day has that intensity. Light can brilliant or muted, just as God’s power and presence can be for us. I recently heard Bishop Rogness preach that God’s light permeates all of life, even when we think everything is dark. We tend to seek the spectacular fireworks of glory, yet God is often in the flickering candle. The light of Jesus shines in every season, even the Minnesota winter.
When or how has God’s light shone for you?
On the way home from work today, I felt in need of some comfort food. So, I stopped at the local Panera and ordered my favorite – a bowl of chicken wild rice soup. While I was sipping, savoring and thinking about life’s challenges, a little toddler came over to my table. She had the most beautiful smile and in her hand was a half chewed, half gummed bagel. “Hi,” I said to her, smiling back. Her smile became even bigger and then, what she did, melted my heart. She tore off a piece of her bagel and handed it to me! Immediately I thought of Jesus, the Bread of Life and how He shares Himself so graciously and abundantly….without us ever asking! My comfort food came to me not only in a bowl of soup but in the Light of Jesus shining through a child. What gifts! Thanks be to God!
Candee, thanks for sharing your story. “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” Psalm 34:8