Day of the Epiphany | January 6, 2021
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that I’ve had to write entirely too many of these notes through my years with you: riots in Uptown Charlotte, Charlottesville, a global pandemic, the death of George Floyd and now the attack of our nation’s Capitol.
I’m writing these words late on Wednesday night. Like you, I’ve found myself clinging to the news coming from our nation’s capitol today. None of us have ever seen images like this before; a large mob storming our most hallowed building, threatening the very fabric of our democracy. It was scary. It was maddening. It was a threat to all of us.
All of this happened on January 6 which just so happens to be a holy day in our Christian tradition, The Epiphany of the Lord. You can read the story here from Matthew 2.
Epiphany marks the recognition of the Light coming into the world in the person of Jesus. The Magi traveled from afar following the light they saw in the sky that led them to the revelation that Herod, nor any other political power, could be the King of the Jews. This incarnation of Love that was before them in Bethlehem would be the leader the world needed to show us all the Way.
This news was disruptive to its core for those in power. This baby threatened King Herod and his way of rule, so threatening he put a hit out on all baby boys two years old and younger. It was lunacy. It was maddening. It was a threat to every young family. Yet, the Magi went home another way and the family of Jesus fled to Egypt for safety becoming refugees.
The word “epiphany,” from the Greek word epiphania, means appearance or manifestation. Ultimately, what is manifested at Epiphany is that out of chaotic darkness Love survives and grows. While the things that happened at our Capitol today … were terrible – I trust, all will not be lost.
Epiphany reminds us that when we are at our worst, struggling for power and using violence to secure the future we want, God draws near to us in Love. God comes to seek justice for the oppressed. God comes to set us free from our own self-imposed imprisonment of ego and tribalism. Darkness does in fact come first but then comes the Light – and God is present with us in both.
Friends, none of us really knows what to do right now. I know at times prayer doesn’t feel like enough. Yet, we are people of prayer … and Love. Let’s be the people our country needs in moments like this. Let’s help our country see the wounds in our midst for what they are and then let us be those who help bring healing to ALL. Let us pray together for our country. Let us look for the Light and let us be the Light in our world. Our present pain will not persist forever.
And as always, remember, God does God’s best work in moments just like this.
Hope … Together,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II