January 8, 2017
Is the world becoming a better place? Worse? Something in-between? Something else? How are we to think about these things? Is there room for optimism? Pessimism? Something different? How about hope?: That's a bigger word for the Christian faith. What does hope mean? What does it look like? What difference does it make?
As brightly as the story’s star, the Epiphany opens up the stellar power of God’s coming to humanity, and our awkward, dramatic, unlikely fumbling toward the Divine. We see the rewards of leaving the comfort zone of one’s own faith and of interfaith cooperation, the penalties for missing the signs of other seekers, and the ways all of us are Herod, all of us are the magi, and all of us long for power.
Readings for this Sunday:
Isaiah 60:1-6 † Psalm 72:1-7,10-14 † Ephesians 3:1-12 † Matthew 2;1-12
John Lennon, 20th century
“You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one.”
Shel Silverstein, 20th century
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
Karl Jung, 20th century
"Bidden or unbidden, God is present."
Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
“It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
Leonard Cohen, 20th century
"There's a crack in everything--that's where the light gets in."
Lao Tzu. 6th century B.C.E.
"Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and water is clear?"
Mahatma Gandhi, 20th century
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."
Kahlil Gibran, 20th century (other source says Rabindranath Tagore)
"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy."