The season of epiphany moves us from a season of indulgence, to a season marked by gift giving that honors God. What kinds of gifts do we give? And how do these gifts honor God by honoring the dignity and agency all of God’s children?
When Jesus clears out the Temple in John 2, he presents a vision for the reformation of God’s house. As questions about guns in churches are raised once again in America, this vision is one to which we must attend.
Epiphany is a story of a baby who, in the time of King Herod, despite all the principalities and powers that continue to overpower and oppress in our world, offers a different hope.
Perhaps the kind of wakefulness that Christ is calling us to in anticipation of his coming is a wakefulness to the urgent cries and needs of one another. Perhaps Christ is calling us to truly recognize one another before we will be able to recognize God in our midst.
God’s vision for reform does not simply replace the one at the center—in God’s vision for the reformation and renewal of the world, the One at the center instead gives their very life and self for the sake of the margins.
Jesus’ shrewd response to the elders and chief priests’ question about his authority revealed the authorities to which they themselves were beholden. It should provoke us to ask which authorities prevent us from following God in our situations.
Christians are called not to ignore despair, but to help sow joy in its wake; not to condone hate, but to be all the more zealous in their own loving in its face. The politics of overcoming evil are about neither ignoring nor condoning evil, but rather, fighting it with the strongest power possible—love.
In the interaction between God’s establishment of circumstances and our free response to them, we see something of the way that God enables us to be more human.
Water is a right, not a privilege. It is not something won for right belief or fortunate circumstances of birth, but rather a gift of sustenance and refreshment that comes from our Living God.
Pentecost does not present us with the ideal of the uniform, homogeneous community, but with a divine power that traverses all of our differences. God’s will is to unite us in our diversity, not to extinguish it.