Reflection January 5, 2020 (Epiphany) by Rev Sun-Young (Sunny) Kim
Isaiah 60:1-6/ Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14/ Matthew 2:1-12
The Light of God That Came to Us
On Christmas Eve, I confessed that I have a mild OCD, and because of that the Nativity display bothers me; and that I can’t mix two different types of cereal in one bowl. Today’s personal confession is that my eyesight is getting worse, and I have cataract growing in one eye, which eventually will require a surgery. Since I can’t see very clearly even with my glasses on, driving after dark is a challenge, especially if the ground is wet. One evening, Attila was coming back from his work trip. It was late, he was too tired to drive to Armstrong where his company is and back home, and there was too much snow for him to park his huge truck by the side of the road in front of our place. I had to go to the truck stop and bring him home. It was dark and the road was wet, reflecting light and making it very difficult for me to see the road. Since I couldn’t see the road, I didn’t slow down early enough to pull into the truck stop. I saw the pull-in road just as I was passing it; so, I quickly turned my car around and got stuck in the snow. I needed help to get my tiny car out of the snow. It was scary with trucks coming from both sides.
Sometimes, I get frustrated because I can’t see well especially after dark. Tomorrow is Epiphany of the Lord, so we are celebrating it today. I think my scary experience driving in the dark is a good metaphor for Epiphany. Epiphany is the day and season in the church year when we patiently watch and listen as God is quietly revealed before us once again. Epiphany is the celebration of God’s light coming down to live among us in the form of Jesus of Nazareth and the gospel message he taught. During Epiphany, the church remembers and reflects upon the mighty acts of God in the birth of Jesus Christ. In one of the two stories in the Bible about the birth of Jesus, wise men from a foreign country follow the guidance of a special star. But that’s exactly the function of light; to guide whoever is in the light. If I had had more light or better night vision, I would have seen the pull-in road on time to turn safely. The special star that guided the wise men to Bethlehem is a metaphor for God guiding us with God’s metaphorical light. Today while lighting the Christ candle I quoted from the Gospel of John chapter 1 that says, “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.” The light of God that we received on Christmas and in this Season of Epiphany, which is Jesus Christ and his gospel about the reign of God, is a powerful light that can overcome darkness and evil. The gift of Jesus and his teachings are the light of God that we received. Okay, but so what? What does that entail? What does our confession in this faith and acceptance of this light entail?
From what we read in the Book of Isaiah today, we are called to arise and witness the light and glory of God. But the clue as to what we should do with this light comes from Psalm 72. Since God is the ruler of justice, we should defend the cause of the poor among the people, save the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor (although this last part is not our job, what we should do is to speak out against the evil of the oppressors). With light, we are able to see things that we aren’t available to see in the dark; that’s what light is for. With the light we have received from God, like the light that guided the wise men to Bethlehem, we should be able to look around even in the darkest corners of our world and see the vulnerable people of God that we are called to serve. Helping the vulnerable of society and speaking out against the social evil is the function of our divine light. Let us continue to meditate on the Divine baby who was born among the marginalized of the society and into a marginalized family. Let us meditate on this baby who grew up to live and die while preaching and living out his belief that God’s kingdom is a just and equal community for all people. Therefore, let us receive the light of God, the light of God’s justice, and shine it in our world to help build God’s just community; “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth.” Amen.