• More Light

    The twelve days of Christmas end on January 6. This marks the beginning of the season of Epiphany in the Christian calendar. Epiphany means “manifestation, disclosure, or revelation.” As the light continues its slow grow with each passing day for those of us in the northern hemisphere, we are invited to reflect upon ways that the Spirit is revealing an unfolding light and new growth in our own lives, day by day. What possibilities are being disclosed to us and made manifest in our days?

    Albert Einstein told us, “No problem is solved by the consciousness that created it.” In Christmas, God has brought new light into our limited vision, showing us the Christ, “Emmanuel,” God-with-us. Matter and spirit, held together in one being, This unity of being calls to us to bring together the divided parts of ourselves, our communities, and our world. We are called to recognize all creation as the beloved of God, worthy of dignity, respect, hope, justice and possibility.

    I find Emily Dickinson’s little poem helpful as I ponder new truths revealed by God’s Light come into the world this Christmas:

    Tell all the Truth, but tell it slant—
    Success in circuit lies.
    Too bright for our infirm delight,
    The Truth’s superb surprise.
    As lightning to the children eased
    With explanation kind,
    The Truth must dazzle gradually
    Or every one be blind!

    New light, new understanding, new life signals the end of old patterns of living, challenging us to go beyond our comfort zones, to “follow the star.” If we refuse the invitation, we may find ourselves continuing to use old patterns of living that no longer give us life, but actually endanger the health of ourselves and our communities, causing a “soul-sickness” that usurps the energy for life itself.

    To follow that star into the Truth being revealed by its light may risk our letting go of old patterns that have lost their vitality. We must risk being ready to create with God the new world that is being birthed. God is the One who brings us back to life after we have had to let go of all the illusory ways we thought we could save ourselves. God’s love is stronger than any of our fears or insecurities, showing us that every ending carries in it a new beginning. May God give us faith to live into God’s Truth, revealing a realm of love and justice, showing us how to “love one another” as God has first loved us. Let our thanks always be to God!

    —Rev. Dr. Ken Orth, Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Direction Affiliate, First Congregational Church in Winchester, (UCC),
    Healing Worship Minister, Old South Church in Boston (UCC)
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