Epiphany 4: “The light shines in the darkness.” Baptism, God’s magic.

In this season of Epiphany we celebrate the coming of the light: John 1:5: “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”

We set the stage last week by focusing on God hidden in light inaccessible. Like Moses, we are blinded by the light of his holiness and almightiness. As is written in Isaiah:

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

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Epiphany 3: John 1:5 “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it.”

“God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform.”

You probably know this line? But maybe not where it is from. It is the first line of a hymn written by an eighteenth century Englishman, William Cowper, who struggled with mental illness much of his life. Even so, he wrote: “God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform.” Ways beyond his understanding. Ways that none of us can understand.

The prophet Isaiah wrote: “Truly thou art a God who hidest thyself” (Isa. 45:15 KJV; see 45:1-15, especially verse 7). When life takes a tragic turn, where is God? In dark times – whatever they may be, this word from Isaiah strikes home.; Why does the Lord permit this tragedy, this illness, this disability, this horror?

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Epiphany 2: “The light is the life” (John 1:4)

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Have you ever been to naturalization ceremony for new citizens? Or seen one on TV?

In Canada citizenship ceremonies happen at NHL games. A red carpet is laid out on the ice. The new immigrants walk out to the middle of the arena. The official reads some words and pronounces the new immigrants to be Canadian citizens. The crowd stands, cheers, and hollers: “Welcome to Canada!” One immigrant said the relief, joy, and sense of belonging she felt that day are unforgettable.

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