Saturday, January 14, 2012

An Epiphany Thought

            In the early Christian church, there were two major festivals. Easter was celebrated every time Christians gathered on the Sabbath. The other major festival was Epiphany. I find that this year, I am relishing this season of light, and finding great hope and meaning in the story of the magi. Part of the reason for this is that I have written, with two able collaborators (my kids!) a short puppet play that tells the story of three Hogwarts students who follow a certain star. It will be performed at Trinity on January 29.

            The Epiphany story is also a natural choice for anyone interested in contemplative prayer and the ministry of spiritual direction. I love the following quote from an article by Wilkie Au, from the Review for Religious, in 1989:

God is to be enjoyed not only at the end of the search, but all along the way. The Christmas story of the magi illustrates this truth. God was present to them not only when they joyfully arrived at the cave in Bethlehem, but also in the original stirrings that sent them off in search of the promised Messiah. God’s presence was also experienced in a guiding star that directed them through dark nights and in a dream that warned them of Herod’s threat. They experienced God’s support, too, in the encouragement they gave each other throughout an uncharted search that took them miles from home. God is more present to us than we think.

Our search for union with God is life-long, often a strenuous trek punctuated by dark passages. If we are to persevere, we must take courage in God’s abiding presence all along the way.