Faces on Faith: Spreading the light of love
The sun crept up this morning behind a sky of mares’ tails cloud formations – hues of pink, salmon, rose and blue – another dawning in our part of the world as light spread slowly and gently. Christmas Day is over, Hanukkah too, but these beautiful and sacred seasons continue in our hearts. Some islanders are still away, some still here entertaining grandchildren, or holding the hand of an adult child or parent. For some it may be the first season without a loved partner or spouse of many years. This time in our calendars can often be a mixture of emotions.
As a Christian, I continue to find joy as we celebrate the twelve days of Christmas, which take us up to the Feast of the Epiphany on Jan. 6 – that feast day when the three wise men, probably astrologists, experienced a phenomenon of great light in the sky and followed it to Bethlehem. One could say they experienced an “epiphany” when they saw the child Jesus and realized God had done something amazing in the world. Their spiritual and emotional lives were opened up in a new, thrilling and probably challenging way as they tried to comprehend what they had seen and then go and show forth the good news to the world.
Opportunities await us as well to spread the good news to our little worlds – wherever they are and whomever they consist of. Although many people these days don’t resonate with the word “evangelism,” that’s what it’s all about when we demonstrate by word and mostly by actions the good news of Christ – that news of compassion, forgiveness and love. That news the world is so hungry for. News that can heal a broken world.
“Epi” means “over” and “phanein” means “to shine” – thus the word “epi-phan” means to shine over, show forth, make manifest -manifesting the light of love and hope in a world so spiritually dark at times. And this season of Epiphany is not simply about talking or preaching kindness and forgiveness – words usually fall far short. This season – from whatever faith-perspective you are journeying on right now – is more about modeling the good news of all Holy Scripture – from Moses’ attempts to have his people realize the commandment to love one another, to Jesus who tried again and again to reinforce and renew this same commandment given to his ancestors.
As you try to discover how you will enlighten the hearts and souls of those around you during this new year of 2018, how you will demonstrate the good news of Christ, or how you will see new light and hope in a friend or stranger, know that opportunities for love, compassion, and forgiveness are everywhere. Seize the day! Seize the light! You too can be a “little dawning” in someone’s life as you spread goodness in your part of the world.