Tag Archives: Epiphany

Still Light

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

Foolish Runner or "I can't hear you due to the icicles in my ears"

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?

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Celebration of Vibrant Life

Celebration in the midst of the darkness

What a celebration of talent and joy I experienced  Saturday night at Resurrection’s Variety Show!  I was amazed not only at the wealth of talent displayed, but by the audience participation in the show.   People were clapping, shouting, cheering and affirming all who stood on stage.  It was truly a community celebration of life and joy.  Even the Silent Auction was a  noisy buzz of activity and friendly competition.

It was a creative expression of Epiphany, the light coming in the midst of darkness.  Perhaps I have a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder (perhaps all Minnesotans have a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder in January) but I needed a celebration in this snowy winter and the Variety Show provided it.   Joy is a hallmark of Jesus’ followers and I felt that this was a brilliant witness to that joy.  Thank you to all who made the evening vibrate with holy hilarity!

I am also struck that it was a community event in which a large part of the congregation participated.  From children to seniors, from set-up to clean-up,  each person gave to the whole.  As the body of Christ, we each have different gifts and strengths to add to the work of God in the world.   Earlier Saturday morning, a group from Resurrection went to the Disable Veteran Camp on Big Marine Lake to help assemble furniture for new cabins.   Though there was not wild cheering or applause, people experienced God’s joy as they helped others in need.  It was a celebration of service, which is a key part of the vibrant life in Christ.  

 I look forward to seeing how Resurrection Lutheran Church will continue to bear witness to Christ’s power in the world.   Every congregation is called by God to used its gifts, strengths, abilities, and passion to bring God’s light into a dark world.  Every congregation will celebrate and serve in unique ways with its own creative twist.  I am so excited to serve among God’s people here.

What creative ways have you seen congregations live out Christ’s mission?