All significant truths are private truths. As they become public, they cease to be truth; they become facts, or at best, part of the public character; or at worst catchwords.
Friday, 4 January 2013
It is wonderful that Epiphany coincides with the time that the secular world is taking down the Christmas lights and ornaments and packing everything away until another year. Epiphany is just not marked at all except by those of faith, and so it is a reminder to Christians that Christmas does not end with January and the return to the work day world, rather, as Howard Thurman said, it is only after Christmas that the real work of Christmas begins.
The people who travel to the stable at Bethlehem show us the breadth of those that God calls - the rich and the poor, those near and far, foreigners and locals, Gentile and Jew, the ignorant and the learned. We also see the different ways in which God draws us to Him. The shepherds are stunned by the sudden appearance of the heavenly hosts telling them to get down to Bethlehem- they must have been in a state of shock. The magi probably took their time debating and pondering the star, applying knowledge and lore and planning their journey, drawn by the questioning within. Revelation can come in different forms and God draws us in ways fitted to our understandings. Finally, although we make different journeys, sometimes even with different perceptions, all of us encounter in the stable an event which is personal to us and bigger than us. We leave, and return, with questions as well as answers, At Epiphany we see that we are united not by our background, theories, beliefs or even doubts but by the fact that our end goal is the same, and awe and worship is our most profound response.