Saturday, January 6th is the Feast of the Epiphany. At St. Paul’s Church we will celebrate the Epiphany on Sunday, January 7. In the Western Church this feast is celebrated as the manifestation of Jesus to the world represented by the three foreign sages who followed a star to find him. The Greek origin of the word is literally translated “manifestation” and people have used the word “epiphany” to describe a situation or thought that made something else quite clear or an event that helped that person make a life changing decision. Each of us has experienced some sort of “epiphany” at particular stages of our lives; and for the most part epiphanies result in good outcomes that benefit an individual and others. As you reflect on the “epiphanies” in your own life do your recall the “aha” moment when it all became clear to you.
Unfortunately, we often forget those epiphanies and get bogged down in the drudgery of everyday life. As Christians sometimes we allow our expectations for what we think is best for our church and its ministry cover up possible manifestations that await us when we open our hearts and minds to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Oscar Romero was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Salvador in Central America. He was an outspoken critic of the dictatorship of El Salvador for preying of the lives of the poor and helpless. For this he was assassinated in May of 1980 during the celebration of Mass. He experienced many insights (epiphanies) concerning efforts to protect and aid the poor and homeless; however, he is most remembered for an epiphany he experienced about the kingdom and the part the Church plays in its development.
With our minds and hearts aimed at the future of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, I want to share his epiphany with you.
It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view. The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work. Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us. We may never see the end results (of our labor), but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.
Archbishop Oscar Romero
As we journey forward at St. Paul’s Church, pray that the Holy Spirit helps each of us to remember that we are but workers and it is God who has the master plan.
Fr. Al Jewson
Rector's Corner posts written by Pastor Rebecca.