I don't much like the days and weeks after Christmas. Christmas takes so long to get here, with preparations and anticipation building from mid-November on. And then, sometime during the day of December 25, it all collapses.
Epiphany | Epiphany of the Lord (Year A Year B Year C)
Isaiah 60:1-6 (Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14); Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12
At some point I picked up the idea that wiser Christians ask fewer questions. That somehow they pick up “the answers” somewhere along the way. More mature Christians could always find The Answer in the Bible, no matter how remote the question might be. And, speaking of questions, that’s one thing real Christians wouldn’t have. Or at least, I wouldn’t know it if they did.
The preacher faces several challenges in these Ascension texts. How can we present Jesus’ departure from the earth as an occasion for not sorrow but celebration? How to translate the kingship and hierarchical language into imagery that speaks to a world no longer governed by kings and monarchs? Feminist biblical scholars note a third challenge: How can we counter Luke-Acts' use of the Ascension to exert a degree of social control?
This past Sunday was the Epiphany, the celebration of the incarnate Christ made manifest. It also happened to be the Sunday I decided to visit a congregation of the Metropolitan Community Church. The MCC is more theologically liberal than I am, so I braced myself for some hangups. But I also wanted to remain as open as possible to experiencing God in a different context. I’m glad I went.