Monday, 17 January 2011

Two Epiphanytide New Year's Resolutions: "By the Way" for The Medicine Hat News

It’s January; the season of Epiphany; which is all about Jesus being made manifest, or obvious, to the world, beginning with the Magi, the wise men from the East.  They experienced an Epiphany, a sudden moment of understanding and insight into who Jesus is. Jesus continues to make himself manifest to us in the Scriptures and his Church.

January and Epiphany is the time when many of us make our New Year resolutions. Here are two suggestions.

When the Magi found the baby Jesus, the first thing they did was fall down and worship him. A good Epiphany resolution would be to do the same, regularly and from the heart, in 2011. This is not always easy. The reasons to stay away can be many; irritations, dislikes, fatigue, fidgeting children, boredom and musical tastes or lack of them, to name a few. But then Worship is not supposed to be easy. The word “liturgy,” which is what we all do when we worship whether we call it that or not, means “work of the people.” Worship can be hard work; hard for the people in the pews and hard for the people up front like me. The music will not always be to my taste, or in tune; the Scripture will not always be read well, the preaching will not always be electrifying; I will not always feel “fed.” It will not always make me feel good or be enjoyable, maybe hardly ever. But then worship is not all about me. It’s all about the One who was made so gloriously but puzzlingly manifest to the Magi and to whom I am giving worth in worship each Sunday; Jesus, Saviour and Lord, the Light of the World. I was created to worship. When I worship him whether I feel like it or not, perhaps especially when I don’t feel like it, Jesus is made more obvious in my life and, through me, in the lives of those among whom I live and move and have my being. Worship is hard but it is worth the effort.

The second thing the Magi did, after they had fallen down to worship Jesus, is to open their treasures and offer him gifts; precious, valuable ones.

Another good 2011 Epiphany resolution would be to open my treasure, too, offering him gifts from what I hold most dear, as an act of worship and generously. If I’m honest, most likely I will have to start with my money.

Determined worship and gifts from what I hold most dear; two important Epiphany resolutions which will make Jesus more obvious in my life.