A Note from Alicia Anderson, campus minister
Christmas ended yesterday and the season of Epiphany begins today.
In case you hadn’t heard before, those “Twelve Days of Christmas” in the song begin on Christmas Day and run through January 5 each year. On January 6th, we mark the arrival of the magi who followed a star to find Jesus. The magi were strangers, foreigners from another land and another religion who saw this sign from God in the heavens and were drawn by its light to follow and find out more.
The primary symbol for the season of Epiphany is light. Light to the whole world. Not just for our family. Not just for our neighborhood. Not just for our own faith community or nation or group. The whole world.
I find this focus on light a little poignant in this dark time of year. Though we have passed the solstice and days are getting longer, the sun still rises late and sets early. As I walk my dog in the early morning or evening darkness, I am especially grateful for the neighbors who still turn on their holiday lights. Walking in the cold darkness, I welcome the warm glow of the occasional lights that encourage me on my journey. Those lights help dispel the darkness. They fill me with hope that dawn will come, and the sun will return to my mornings and my evenings.
God brings light to the world. Through Jesus, we see just what that means; love without strings, compassion for all, forgiveness even when it is not easy, justice for the poor and rejected, healing for the struggling and broken.
As people of God, we are called to try and show the light of God to the world. The whole world. Not just our family, our neighborhood, our own faith community, nation or group.
As we mark this season where light brought outsiders to look for the infant Jesus, may we each find ways to be the light of God in the lives of those around us. As you make your way around the darkness of this season, let the lights you encounter remind you of the light of God’s love, compassion, forgiveness, justice and healing that surround you and are spread to the world through you.
I guess it’s not so dark out there after all.
God of light,
Show me your light in today’s darkness.
Help me to see your love in the midst of sorrow and hate.
Reveal your forgiveness and justice in the face of blame and retribution.
Help me to see where compassion and healing are most needed.
Make me your light in the darkness.
Empower me to reach out with love and compassion
to the stranger, the broken, the sorrowful and the foreigner in my life.
Fill me with light and use me.