About this time of year, as we turn another page on the calendar, I am always thankful that Christmas lingers. I am always thankful that Christmas is not only a day, but also a season, as in the twelve days of Christmas leading up to the day of Epiphany, January 6. For I know that we are only a handful of days into the new year, and yet, our plans have already started to change. Just days ago, we were poised; we were ready. We had our plans outlined, and our goals etched in stone.
This would be the year of renewed patience, fewer arguments, and less mistakes. This would be the year of more kindness, less busyness, and reconnection with others. Just days ago we were ready, but now our plans have started to waver. Now, we have accomplished a few things. Our closet is a little more organized. We have fixed the leaky faucet in the kitchen. We have called a few long-time friends, but the list is far from finished. This is why I am grateful that Christmas lingers, as we pause to look through the light of Epiphany.
It can reveal the chance to begin again in grace, looking through the light of Epiphany and seeing that all of life is sacred. Epiphany means "to reveal." It is when Jesus is revealed to the world through the eyes of the Magi. It reminds us of the love of God in the flesh, where we remember that God is with us no matter where we go.
The light of Epiphany helps us see how all of life is sacred, and it reveals how we find new life in old resolutions, practicing our faith in our everyday lives. We find new life in returning to the old commitments of community, empathy, and selflessness. We find new life in the old commitments of prayerful study, enduring service, and careful listening.
We find new life in a community of faith, striving to practice the love of neighbor. We find new life in being apart of the Church around the world, feeling the connections we have with others as we are bound by the grace of Christ. We find new life in authentic worship, rooted in humility and hope. We find new life in words of confession, speaking with honesty about ourselves and embracing God's unending forgiveness. We find new life in the words of scripture, reading scripture seriously, but carefully. We find new life in embracing silence, discovering God beneath the surface of life. We find new life in the practice of generosity, giving of our time, talent, and resources. We find new life in living into integrity in our work, striving to have a gentler voice towards others, and yielding to simplicity and contentment, but never yielding to apathy.
We find new life in returning to old commitments, looking through the light of Epiphany and seeing that all of life is sacred. As we consider the first days and the first months of this year, we can rest in the assurance that we do not have to discover anything new. We can live into the strong commitments of the church that lead us into the sacredness of life, which have been tested and found useful. We can make room in our days for those old commitments, opening our eyes and revealing to us that God is with us.