Harrowing Of Hell
January 5, 2021

Tomorrow is the Feast of the Epiphany

Dear Epiphany,
Imagine living in a world where the night sky was an intimate part of your everyday existence. Where the stars and their patterns of travel were familiar to you, even conversational. Where you might say to a friend, did you notice Orion turned, or Jupiter flared (I don’t even know enough to give real examples). That said, I was aware enough of the news to look toward the southwest sky to the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, and to know some called it the Christ star in the belief that this same conjunction took place the year Jesus was born.
Some Magi from the east put two and two together, though it was more complicated than that—more like ten thousand and two together. The mystical vision, the historical patterns, the written prophecy, the interpretation of dreams, all lead to a belief, a core belief, that the king of the world was to be born in Judea, under a star. Only, they undershot the prediction. It wasn’t the king of the world born, but the Son of God, the Second person of the Trinity. Mary was the portal through which God materialized as the Word made flesh. Bethlehem was the place, and planets converged to point the way.
When I do notice the stars, which is far less often than I’d like to admit, I think of words penned by Barbara Brown Taylor in her book The Luminous Web: “Our bodies are 65% oxygen, 18% carbon, 10% hydrogen, and 3.3% nitrogen, plus a smattering of the elements you can find listed on the bottle of your multi-mineral pills. Where did all those elements come from? From the creation of the cosmos. From the ashes of stars… we are all made from the same stuff. We are all children of the universe” (p. 38).
On this Feast of Epiphany, our eponymous feast day, I invite you to look to the stars and own the connection. The portal Jesus came through is the same one you and I came through. Seattle is our place, and the Christ star seems to have appeared again, to mark us and to guide us. I do not think it an accident that the star shows up as we are poised to exit the abomination of COVID. I do not think it an accident that we can envision a world wiped free of COVID, even as we sit in the midst of its greatest horror. The light is far off, and yet, we are connected to it.
I leave you with a question to ponder: What connections are you making in your heart between your faith, your purpose and capacity, your life after the vaccine has vanquished the virus, and your Epiphany community? If these connects inspire a vision, I’d love to hear what you are thinking and feeling.
Join us in person at 7:30 pm or online at 5:30 and 7:30 pm to celebrate our connections. My heart is light and my soul full of the lightness of God’s being. I pray yours is as well.
Peace upon your soul.