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Grounded

All throughout Advent and Christmas, our attention is drawn heavenward: angels, stars, dreams. Once the wise men find their way to Bethlehem, all the heavenly work is done. The angels fade away as the shepherds return to their flocks to tend their sheep (who watched them while they were away?). The wise men return to their homes by another road (did the star lead them on that journey, too?). The star moves on to some other galaxy or just simply fades out (its work here is done!). The holy family flees to Egypt to escape the brutality of Herod. And then we move into the all-grown-up-Jesus as he rolls up his sleeves and gets to work.

He is baptized. His authority is questioned and challenged. He calls a few disciples and preaches a rather amazing sermon. The season between Christmas and Lent seems to be about heaven’s attempt to take root on earth. And, it doesn’t always go well.

Apparently, there are those who prefer to keep heaven in its place—out there somewhere, at a distance, mysterious, something to be sought but never attained in real life. And then, Jesus hands out this prayer that includes the plea, “…thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” and a cosmic shift is set in motion. Godly, heavenly things like mercy and compassion and justice and peace and love are no longer just distant things to be hoped for. They become the down-to-earth answer to that prayer.

Welcome to the season of Epiphany where the heavenly starlight we have been following becomes grounded in the midst of earth and starts to take roots in the souls of humanity. May we head the call of Jesus to follow and be grounded in God’s amazing answer to that prayer.

Rev. Lynne

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