Welcome to 2017! This month we enter into a new year- a new year in terms of our culture and our life together as a church. There are probably some big things for us on the horizon in terms of our life together here at Peace. Our new council will start their work of leading, we will engage in conversation about how to pay down some debt on our building, we will celebrate this year the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and how we are still reforming our hearts and our lives, and we will always be up to the work of seeing the new thing God is doing.
This month is also the month we celebrate the Epiphany or the revealing of Jesus to the world by the leading of a star and the three wise men. One of the themes of Epiphany is the light that shines in the midst of the darkness, a light that the darkness will not overcome. I’m grateful for the ways you will be light bearers this month in our world that needs to see some light, peace, and hope.
As we begin this New Year, I offer to us the words of a reflection entitled, “The Wise Man’s Journey” from the Iona Community. It is from the perspective of one of the wise men in the gospel of Matthew.
There will be no camels; we are going on horseback, at least for some of the way.
And we won’t arrive there a few hours after everyone else. It will be weeks, perhaps – or months.
We are not in a hurry. That is not the way we work; we are not Europeans.
We will discuss the phenomenon – the star – and if it does not go away, and if we still feel curious, we will travel.
We will look in the wrong place. Yes I admit that, because wise men, potentates, intellectuals – call us what you will – are not infallible.
We expect a new power to emerge from the side of the old one. We expect the destination we seek to resemble what our common sense deduces.
We will be upset, angry even, to find that Herod is ignorant and that his living space is not the birthplace.
We will find it hard and intellectually demeaning to bow the knee to the son of refugees.
And all of this … all this upset will be compounded when it comes to journeying back and we discover we have to go home by another way.
That is the trouble with God. He does not let you leave as you came. He sends you back, stripped of your presumptions, making for home by another way.
Quoted in Cloth For the Cradle. The Wild Goose Worship Group. Wild Goose Publications, 1997. Pages 125-126.
New Year’s Blessings,
Pastor Travis Wilson