The Power of Epiphany

As we were on our morning walk, the five-year-old asked, “Why are people taking their Christmas decorations down and we aren’t?”

It’s the kind of question that a clergy parent waits and hopes for. I explained that Christmas isn’t over on December 25 and in fact the season after Christmas is the time that we get to bask in the light of Jesus’ birth. He was excited it meant that we would still have Christmas decorations for a little longer.

Just as we are nearing the Epiphany of the Lord remembering that Jesus was born into an imperial controlled context in which there is a king threatened by his appearance, our culture is watching and waiting to see what will happen as leaders promise that they will keep objecting our recent elections and a new leader coming into power and as we watch and wait to see what the Georgia election runoff results will reveal.

Isn’t it funny how all of this seems to come to fruition on Epiphany?

There is something about all of this that feels familiar. As if it’s a story I’ve heard before. A story of people who have some power and will do anything to keep that power and try to get more no matter who it harms in the process.

It’s a familiar story because it’s an old, old story. A story of how we as humans want to matter and want to be important. It’s a story of Herod and the disciples who ask who is the greatest. It’s a story we find over and over again in leaders of communities of faith who overlook abuses because they don’t want to lose their power or misuse their power to embezzle money or abuse others. It’s a story of us.

I’m waiting and watching in hope that light will come challenging and undermining the powers of this world just as the Light did so long ago.