We are at one of those odd moments on the church calendar, one of those moments when things move so fast it will almost make your head spin.
More than likely, you will be reading this on Saturday, January 6. It is the Day of the Epiphany, the day the church sets aside to commemorate the visit of the Magi to the Christ child in Bethlehem. Sunday, January 7, we will gather to worship on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord and we will find a thirty-something Jesus wading into the Jordan River to greet John and receive baptism.
From child to adult in less than 24 hours. It becomes more staggering when we go from infant to child to adult in 13 days. I know they grow up fast, but really?
Our inevitable response is to look for what the stories have in common, how we can link them. I would propose one way is this: the birth of Jesus, the visit of the Magi, the baptism of Jesus all suggest to us something of who Jesus is. These are matters of identity, of what it means to claim him as Lord and Savior, of how we understand him to be the Beloved. Discerning who Jesus is then becomes a matter of our identity. In other words, if this is what we mean about Jesus and we are Jesus followers, then this is what it says about who we are as the community of the Beloved.
Cold weather and snow on the ground notwithstanding, I hope to see you tomorrow. We’ll be on schedule, all six services in their usual time and place. We’ll gather around the Word to hear who Jesus is (see Mark 1:4-11), gather at the font to remember who we are, and gather around the table to celebrate both.
It’s enough to make your head spin.
Grace and peace.