To my mind, there are two key takeaways for us this week. We who are Christians stand in the crowd of witnesses that began with the first stories, with Abraham, Sarah and Hagar, with the family of Abraham, with Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Deborah, Ruth, Samuel, Saul and David, and all the prophets.
We remember what they longed to see. We are gathered and transformed by what happened just as they were created and transformed by what they were promised.
And standing in that crowd, being given the story that unlocks the deepest meaning of all the stories, it is our turn to share them with our children and our neighbors. They too, whether they know it or not, are being remade by the working of the same Spirit.
To us has been given the Word of truth, the Word of faith and of hope. So that even in this moment, as the nations roar and creation groans, we see the working of the Spirit to bring all to perfection.
Do not wonder then but behold the working out of Salvation in our midst. It is being made manifest to us. And how appropriate today that the name of this liturgical season, Epiphany literally means manifestation.
So what should we do in day like this? Care for one another. Care for the people in our lives. Care for the world as best we can. But also know that God is working in us as individuals and in all us as part of God’s created order.
The winnowing fork and the wind are separating the good parts from the bad. Thanks be to God.
One of the optional readings for this second Sunday in Christmastide is the story of the Magi and their visit to the Christ Child in Bethlehem. In this Gospel, the Magi study nature, act on what they learn, and arrive at the foot of the Christ Child, the Lord, and author of Creation.
To me, this lesson has been a reminder that the present apparent conflict between Science and Religion in this moment of history isn’t helpful or even necessary. In this sermon, I talk about one of the roots of the conflict, and more importantly, how this conflict is being used today to divide us into warring tribes in society.