My parents used to call it “Old Christmas.” The tree and all the decorations stayed up until January 6th, The Feast of the Epiphany, when we commemorate the manifestation of Christ by a star to the Gentiles. Since the Magi or the Wise Men were not of the Jewish Church the message of Epiphany is to send the light of the Christian faith to those who are not of the Church throughout the world. The Wise Men were the first to know of the divinity of Jesus.

The word Epiphany means “revealing” or “showing forth.” I’ve thought a lot about it the last few days especially as I packed up the creche and boxed the baby Jesus and his mother, Mary Mild, in tissue along with Joseph and the shepherds and their flock. Can they keep watch by night in a cardboard box and will Jesus remain the light of the world in the darkness of today’s culture? I told a friend today that I am feeling old ~ not physically or mentally, although I have senior moments too often especially when it comes to names. But at 76 I AM old and entitled to brain cramps and even generational differences. I try to keep an open mind about change and new ways. I want to believe in the goodness of humankind as did Anna Frank.

I love the movies ~ always have and some are so darned good these days. “The Blind Side” was a lovely film that left me feeling good and hopeful about the human race. Even the science-fiction film “Avatar” in 3-D no less, had a good moral when all was said and done. I saw another film the other day: “Up In the Air,” another engaging film or so I thought at the time. Certainly it was handsomely cast and trendy, and there were some good laughs and some bitter tears, so was it a good film? I don’t know. I guess the sexual freedom bothered me and the language. What has happened to the sacredness of relationships and the elegance of words? I don’t want to give away the plot because some of you will see it and it will probably win some academy awards. I didn’t NOT like it, but it has stayed with me long enough to make me feel old.

At a small clergy covenant group yesterday morning we talked about the joy of having Moses Matonya in our homes for 5 days. He had dinner with and stayed the night with The Rev. and Mrs. Bob Brown (Vicar of St. Mary Magadelene’s that has so richly embraced Jessie’s and my mission to Tanzania). It delights us that they call us their personal missionaries. Bob said that his wife asked after Moses left for Virginia Theological Seminary on Sunday: “Do you feel our house has been blessed by Moses’ coming?” “yes,” he said, “it was the highlight of Christmas for me.” Moses blessed our homes for 5 days and nights and I felt the same way and commented in my blog entry about him that the sunshine of his smile seems to radiate throughout my home. He was as comfortable and genuine at Jessie’s High Tea on New Year’s Day as he would be in a hut in his mother’s village. His steadfast faith and trust in the baby born in Bethlehem has affected me deeply ~ revealed to me that God is not contained in a cardboard box and put away until next Christmas. Walking James (my precious dog) yesterday morning, January 7th, the waning moon was still hanging in the cold sky and down the street there was an outdoor tree that was still aglow with lights and I felt peaceful and joyful and thankful for Moses and all the people of Tanzania that we have come to respect and love and admire. Moses was an Epiphany for me. God bless you dear readers. Journey on to follow the star.

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