by Pastor Sonja Hagander
Just as the ice began to freeze on the lake this year, I headed out to shovel a rink. As I looked out across the lake, as the sun was rising, I saw someone running with a cape---no, it wasn’t superman and it turned out it wasn’t a cape, either. A man was chasing a white goose. Then another joined and another and pretty soon 5 young men were chasing a goose on an icy lake. They appeared as if they were going to capture the goose with a large piece of material. I crabbed out loud to my family: “look at those mean guys, chasing that goose all over the lake...can’t they just leave it alone?”
My husband quickly chimed simply: “Maybe they are trying to help the goose.”
Maybe they are trying to help the goose! Such a simple phrase with the power to change my interpretation.
Epiphany is like that. It is the season of illuminating discovery. It is the season when the perception of reality intensifies. It is when Jesus is branded as God. It is a eureka--an aha! With one simple phrase from my husband, the reality of what was happening on the lake came into focus. These young men weren’t out to get the goose, racing around the lake being mean. No, in fact, geese can fly and this goose wasn’t flying. It was probably injured and the reality was, those young men were taking precious time away from skating and ice fishing to help this creature, the goose.
Maybe they are trying to help the goose. Jesus' invitation to us has the same power: we can be caught up in a new way of looking at the world: Eureka!
I wonder if you’ve had a similar experience; you’re watching something, making a judgment about how things are and then, simply, with another’s insight, the reality of the situation becomes clear and things are illuminated for you. You become caught up in a new reality.
It could be the illumination that occurs with a face to face conversation--o how we long for those--that explains a messed up email exchange.
Or maybe it’s an epiphany with a larger narrative.
It could be the illumination that the phrase: “We are all immigrants,” erases the many Americans that did not immigrate here, like Native Peoples or those brought here against their will as slaves.
It could be the illumination from a friend who shares something vulnerable with you and draws you closer.
It could be the illumination about decisions leaders make for the sake of the whole.
Epiphanies often come to folks when they are afraid, clouded by doubt, wrapped tight within themselves, or in the midst of a barren land of unjust systems and death. I give thanks for those voices who are the bearers of epiphany.
Join with me in this New Year plea to God: I need a new lens God, I need a new lens, give it to us now....we call to you! Help us see, help us trust you are hidden amidst our lives. Make yourself known in our life together.
I love C.S. Lewis words: “I believe in God as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
This New Year, my hope comes from Jesus, our lens through Whom we see everything else.