taking the epiphany

6 01 2010

So you’re on the edge, an observer. Watcher. Waiter. Intrigued,  hopeful, suspicious.  Wondering. This whole Jesus thing. Just what is it? You know people who live by him. You know people who say they do. You know people who couldn’t give a monkey’s blue hat about him. You… you’re on the edge. Jury’s out. You’re mind is not made up.

You do know you’re not one of the keen ones. You’re not ‘in’. You’re not a churcher, a Jesus freak, a happy clappy. You’re not begging to carry the cross, wear the robes, swallow the funny bread. But you are almost convinced there something… something.

it was nothing like this

If so, Epiphany is your day. It’s the day for you on the edge, you of another faith who see Jesus and wonder, you of unexpressed faith who simply wonder. Epiphany is when we keen ones remember the wise men travelling to Bethlehem to worship Jesus, who they called the King of the Jews. They were not Jews. They were not from Bethlehem. Their gentlemanly’s hadn’t had the Hebrew chop.  Why did they come? They were trying to explain the world, what they had seen. They had had an epiphany. It is possible that they had seen Saturn (planet of royalty) and Jupiter (planet sometimes representing Jews) in alignment and came to the conclusion: a king of the Jews was coming. Who knows. But they came. Thankfully, for us who search and get things wrong, they got it wrong at first. They went to the palace. You would. They did.

When they found the one, the baby/toddler/young boy, in his (home-town!) of Bethlehem, they worshiped. They, the ones on the outside, the fringe, the watchers, the searchers, the non-believers; they, suddenly at the epicentre of God’s story. Briefly, wonderfully, centrally. Then they go, who knows where. But they found what they were looking for. And they were there.

it was nothing like this (why is so much Christian art so bad?!)

If the Magi (the educated, the wealthy, the intelligent) were the first to say King of the Jews, yet were not Jews, at the end of Jesus’ life, another group of outsiders have an epiphany moment and play a unique and unexpected role.  This group were the opposite – rough men, uneducated men, the Roman soldiers at the cross guarding this ineffectual and very dead Jewish nutter. And yet these men, maybe not even searching or hoping, simply living and intending to stay that way, they exclaim “Surely he was the/a son of God!” Again, outsiders, the dangerous and the unclean, placed at the centre of God‘s plan, seeing things the ‘religious’ don’t see, exclaiming aloud things the in-crowd are too interested in ‘staying safe’ to utter.

This is Epiphany. The outsiders being in, the insiders taking a step back; God’s open-hearted plan taking precedence over our expectations. You, the watcher, the observer, the hopeful and the suspicious. This is your day. Claim it, take your epiphany, that which God has revealed to you and you don’t know what to do with. Whether you are a Magi or a Roman soldier, or something else. You can be at the centre of God’s plan. You are at the centre of God’s plan.

I’m not taking the Epiphany. Do it.

be on the edge. not on this Edge.

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3 responses

7 01 2010
Edge

Do not be afraid of heights. It’s the edges you need to watch out for.

7 01 2010
c2drl

Nice one!

Isn’t it interesting that God chooses to invite into one of the most important events of his interaction with the world, some people from another religion about which most Christians would frown. As you suggest, we often see Christianity for the “insiders”. Perhaps we have made ourselves too exclusive, particularly those of us outside the Anglican Communion with our initiation rites and statements of faith to which we must sign up.

Its not easy, how do we keep the faith and yet draw in the outsiders? Answers on a Postcard….

7 01 2010
Kevin

So many times the bible shows us that God says ‘widen your tents’, or more likely ‘loosen up and listen’, when often we are narrowing our tents, drawing up our guest lists and closing our ears. If you widen your tent too far I guess it falls over, so there is a limit – unless of course, the tent becomes simply a canopy…

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