|photo by GollyGforce / flickr|
The liturgical church called the days after Christmas--Epiphany. We Baptists didn't have a clue back there. After the Yuletide season was over--we packed away our Christmas stuff, cleaned the house--and worried about how we were going to pay for all that stuff we charged. So January came in cold and rainy--even in Georgia--and looking out the
window everything was drab and ugly and blah.
But somewhere I discovered this after-christmas season of Epiphany. Traditionally it began on January 6. It honored the coming of the three kings that followed the star until they discovered the baby Jesus. Back there we thought when the three kings of Orient marched down the aisle in their bathrobes--carrying various smelling salts and jars, filched from their Mama's vanity--that it was all over.
And later, much later I learned that we had the three wise men coming on stage too soon. They came later in January. Maybe somebody back there knew that after Christmas when everything was dull and everybody was a little down--that we might need what they called an Epiphany. Translated: Manifestation. Translated: Seeing the star--walking in its incredible light--and discovering at the heart of it all there was more, much, more more than we ever dreamed.
Epiphany heralds the coming of the light. And here in this January we all need a fresh dose of light for these dark days. All the pundits are wringing their hands--except for Kelly Ann and all the other paid actors. I wake up every morning dreading to turn on the news. Trump. Who refuses to sit still even for the reports and briefings. It makes sense--when you know everything why waste precious time on all those boring reports that may not be true after all.
I read the long sad list of the people who expect to whisper in his ear and tell him which way to go. Lordy! An Amway millionaire who never sent a child to public schools all hepped up over vouchers for mostly privileged kids. What about all the others? A General who helped spread the news that Hillary was involved in some kind of furtive sex ring outside a pizza join in Washington. She didn't have far to travel. A reputed alt-right nationalist who has written terrible things on his web site. He will stand close. The Energy Secretary who wants to dismantle the Department he now will probably head. Huh? A Surgeon from Georgia who was picked to abolish the health care for over 20 million people. The list goes on. A President-to-be whose role model seems to be Mr. Putin. Mr. Trump has loudly proclaimed that he will drain the swamp. And it now seems that the only people left will be billionaires.
What does all this have to do with Epiphany? Everything. Our forebears were wise enough to know that despite whatever Herods there might be--whatever injustices that would march across the world--we have this old story of three kings that followed a star--refusing to listen to the evil-intentioned king. Three kings who found more than they ever dreamed in an out-of-the-way place nobody had ever heard of. Not even Rick Steeve.
The writer John would look back on the whole Christmas story and write later, maybe with a smile--"the light shines and the darkness cannot put it out." The time in which he wrote those words was about as dark as the world could get. So we Christians must hang on to Epiphany. Light. A manifestation that there is more here than meets the eye or has Trump stamped all over it. So, like all those others through the winding years--we remember what headlines and elections would try to diminish. In 2017 the light still shines--a shining light--in a darkness that is mighty scary.
Don't throw in the towel. Remember the three kings. Remember the star. Forget Herod. He is a bit player in a drama that is larger than life and death and powers and principalities and whatever else will come down the pike.
--Roger Lovette / rogerlovette.blogspot.com