As we continue through Epiphanytide, we celebrate the revelation of Christ in human form, this light of the world shining in the midst of darkness.
"By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.” -Luke 1:78-79
And yet this Light shines in the the midst of the very ordinary, humble mundane of our lives.This revelation of Love embodied in the small, vulnerable body of a pauper babe. God has come. In a body. In a place. The long awaited Liberator is here. And yet only a few take notice.
"The Life-Light was the real thing:
Every person entering Life
he brings into Light.
He was in the world,
the world was there through him,
and yet the world didn’t even notice." -John 1:9-10
How easy it is for us to dismiss the sacred in the midst of the ordinary. We are so mesmerized by the flashy and the spectacular. We are obsessed with success and our arrival to the greener grass of another pasture. We crave quick fixes and big stories. And yet more often than not, God is found in the small stories of our very unflashy, unspectacular lives. God is found around the table, in prayer-soaked chores, in tear-filled nights, and in the surprise of connection.
"The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood." -John 1:14
God is found in the everyday moments of our human experience. And yet in a world that often seeks the gnostic secret that will free us from the limitations of our body and place, how can we truly celebrate this incarnational announcement? -Paul Sparks, Parish Collective
Why are we so prone to want to transcend, escape, avoid, and numb out? We either want to be superhuman or subhuman. But Christ came to redeem our humanness once and for all.
What if instead of trying to escape the limitations of our body and our place, forever seeking to transcend our circumstances, we turned our attention to fully being here? Being present here and now, in the midst of our everyday lives.
How can we shift from living above our places, seeking to escape our places to being a part of what God is doing in our places? How can we embrace the limitations of our humanity as a gift that cultivates connection and presence? How can we attune our bodies to notice Christ here among us? In the faces of our neighbor, in this patch of earth, in the kindness of a stranger.
The miracle of the incarnation means that God is here with us, embodied in one another and encountered in the most ordinary and unexpected places. My prayer this week is that we would practice being present to our everyday lives in our neighborhoods, slowing down to notice Christ among us — here in our bodies and our places.
by Jessica Ketola