Trusting in God, trusting in the absolute love of God is life giving. But trusting is not enough. Experiencing God’s love and then not sharing that love is like a tree whose roots are bound. We need to be a conduit of God’s love.
“The Hope of Resurrection” The Fifth Sunday after Epiphany (February 10, 2019) 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you…
If you really slow down and let the weight of Paul’s words really sink in “love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things,” the sense that this is actually attainable for any one person or any one couple quickly decreases.
This image of the church as the body of Christ runs far deeper than a metaphor for teamwork. It tells us about the kind of community God shapes, and that is a community in which differences are not erased, but embraced and transcended for the sake of God’s purposes in the world.
The message at the heart of Epiphany is that God shows up. And where does God show up? In a podunk village, among a peasant family, in the company of roughneck shepherds and smelly livestock, and not in Herod’s palace. In a manger, not on a throne.
What all of that darkness and light imagery points to is this: Jesus reveals God to believers and to the world in a unique, definitive way. Jesus is the spiritual light that helps us to see clearly who God is and who we are.
That’s the point of the birth story, really. That’s the theological beating heart of Christmas: God taking on the skin and bones, the grit and grime of life. Divinity assuming humanity for the sole purpose of being with us in our ordinariness.
Scary, unruly, wild and woolly John the Baptist, pointing with his finger, might make us squirm under the light of judgment. But his finger also points to the One who is coming—the One who brings mercy.
That’s what Matthew aims to do, in fact, is to tell in his gospel the story of God’s power and presence come among us in a new way, of God among us in the Messiah in a way that we did not, could not expect.