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A Decathlon of Faith
When watching sports, Im always most impressed by the decathletes. Those who are able to compete skillfully in such a range of athletic events are awe-inspiring. Not only can they perform a variety of skills well, but they also are able to switch easily from one to another. The readings this month challenge us to be spiritual decathletes.
The Cost of Faith
It is often said that what you pay for something affects how much you value it. In other words, the more you pay, the more you cherish it. I suspect that the reverse is also true: the things you cherish the most are the things for which you are prepared to pay the most. So what has this to do with Easter?
Transforming Darkness into Light
The Light of God's Glory
Have you ever sat and watched a moth drawn into a light bulb? The moth simply cannot help but be drawn to the bulb’s brilliance. The season of Epiphany celebrates a theme a little like this - only we are the moths and the bulb is God’s glory. Throughout Epiphany we encounter again and again the inexorable attraction of God. Whenever God’s glory is revealed in the world, people, from the greatest to the least, are drawn to its brightness. Whether they are the kings and nations of Isaiah 60:1-6, the Magi of Matthew 2:1-12, the people to whom John the Baptist speaks in John 1:29-42, or the disciples of Matthew 5:1-12, all are drawn to the glory of God.
This pull is strongest when God’s glory is most apparent, so the Magi and the first disciples cannot resist being drawn into worship and obedience. Throughout history the people of God have struggled to reveal God’s glory to the world. We seem to be much better at concealing it - by keeping it to ourselves, squabbling about it, and sometimes even ignoring it entirely. The season of Epiphany not only challenges us afresh to feel the pull of God on our own lives but to seek constantly for ways in which we can reveal God to the world. Just think about what the world could look like if we succeed!
The story of an obscure, powerless woman reminds us to do what we can.