For Epiphany, we had multiple reflections that touched on God’s real tangible concern for justice, peace, and life with attention to three passages, Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; and Matthew 2:1-12. Two of these reflections were from Tim Almquist and Eddie Beres.
In the first reflection, Tim reflected on his own Quaker background and the bodily and creation elements apparent in not only the story of the Magi, Herod, and Jesus’s birth, but also the other passages assigned to this Sunday. Here he noted a transcendence that envelops us in real tangible ways. Tim noted:
Epiphany is transcendence, the manifestation of God in our own social, political, earthly, and bodily dimensions, God in flesh and God in water, God in mountains and hills inviting us into justice and peace that is real. What the Mennonite tradition has taught me and is still teaching me … is that any spiritual significance of the story of Jesus is meaningless unless it bears tangible and physical significance in any present day action.
You can listen to Tim’s reflection here:
Eddie, related our Epiphany service to the evening Epiphany services held by PMC’s former sanctuary ministry. Through this, we were led in reflection on the process of updating our membership policy to a more explicitly inclusive statement (which is reflected in the welcome statement found on the website here). Eddie notes concerning truth and reconciliation:
Confronting and reckoning with the past is necessary for successful transitions from conflict, resentment, and tension to peace and connectedness.
Further, this process needs confession, atonement, and repentance. Eddie expressed the hope that what we have now at PMC is an ember that lights a brighter fire, which we as a community will fan with continued reconciliation work moving forward. Listen to his reflection here:
For convenience sake, there is also a podcast available. You can find that here.