|Entertaining Angels on Retreat|
(Okay they are not real, only staged for the photo-shoot)
Oh my gosh, what to write about, retreat or Epiphany. Let me just say retreat was amazing and was badly needed and move us into the moment of Epiphany, which seems a bigger deal in our faith. Here we are at the formal close of the Advent/Christmas season as we celebrate Epiphany today (also known as the Twelfth Night of Christmas). This is the arrival of the three Magi in our tradition, three Gentile men who travelled with gifts for the child Jesus. The term epiphany means "manifestation." What is it that was manifest to these three sojourners? I am curious about their story. The contrast between light and dark is an aspect of the story that draws me in. King Herod enlisted them to find Jesus so he could bring his life to an end (a little foreshadowing possibly). Then when they leave for Bethlehem they travelled by the light of a star. This is a far stretch from the GPS gadgets we have today. My guess is that it was easy to fumble around in the dark and the path was not always clear, depending on how dark the night. The contrast between dark and light seems integral to this story both, literally and figuratively. For those of us who read it through a Christian lens in the 21st Century we know how it ends, and continues. Today, I wonder what it would be like if I were hearing the story of the Magi for the first time? Or, better yet, what would it be if I were the Magi? What was "manifest" to them? Herod wanted them to return and they were warned in a dream that this was not a good idea. So, these three men journeyed home on a different path (maybe one that was not so familiar, or easy). While on retreat last week I played and prayed with the contrast between light and dark. Currently, I feel steeped in the journey with the Magi, and am grateful to pray with them today. They followed a star and trusted their dreams, insight for the ages.
So, here is a steep curve off the Magi path, just want to let you know that today I am blogging at a Starbucks as I travel to stay in Milwaukee for the week. I am very excited as I have the opportunity to substitute a sophomore New Testament class at Dominican High School, where I used to teach. Not only is this uber-exciting, I am now reflecting on how this special place has helped me to grow and become a star for me in the night sky. However, I will be using my phone to find how to get to where I am staying because my star navigation is not that of the Magi.... my how things have changed in two millennia. It's good to be back, have a great week!!!!