“Here’s to Epiphanies great and small where ever they occur. A blessing on all Wise Men and Women, East and West. Here’s to the stargazers and pilgrims everywhere, who are still foolish enough and brave enough to follow their stars, who travel by night, who bestow their uncommon gifts on us all.”
(Patrick T. A. O’Neill)
Technically Epiphany is celebrated January 6, but, my dear ones, we will be celebrating epiphanies all month long and into the next.
Merriam-Webster defines epiphany as: a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something. Also as: an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure.
That is what we are intending to be about for the next six weeks or so – creating opportunities for epiphanies, yours and mine. Drawing from the testimonies of others within our congregation and beyond our walls, we hope to experience opportunities to perceive the essential nature and meaning of our social order and the ways in which that order shapes our lives individually and together. It is a journey of discovery for each of us to examine how it is that race, power and privilege shape and define our lives.
From that exploration, and the epiphanies that emerge, we will find ourselves inspired and empowered to live and move differently in our world, relating more genuinely, and engaging with a deeper authenticity than we had before.
We hope to learn more about ourselves and our own identities, ones we can claim with a healthy affirmation that does not require the diminishment of the identities of others.
Patrick O’Neill says: “Here’s to the stargazers and pilgrims everywhere, who are still foolish enough and brave enough to follow their stars”.
I invite us to be such pilgrims together, to fI invite us to be such pilgrims together, to follow the star of justice, equity and compassion and see where it leads us- be it to the cradle of a baby, the halls of democracy, or to a more intentional listening to the wise, and knowing small voice within. It may take some of us to one of those places, or some of us to all of them.
We don’t know. We don’t know what we will learn or how we will learn it. What we do know, is that together we will find the courage to explore the ways in which our system has supported the current inequities of race, power and privilege, and how, grounded in faith we can still be foolish enough and brave enough to follow our stars of justice, equity and compassion. It may be hard at times, but within the journey is the realization of a joy that is deep, abiding and sublime. It is an experience to remember.
See you in church!
Wishing you blessings and grace for the New Year,