Lately, I’ve been looking for signs. You know, unexpected indicators that things are going to turn out a certain way, hopefully a good way.
Some of you may remember the sermon I preached after Christmas, when I shared the story about losing my special leaf earring. I used it as an example of Amor fati (love of fate) and talked about the blessing of embracing “what is.” Life happens, things fall apart, earrings get lost, and we can either resist and rail or accept and move on (which ultimately, perhaps paradoxically, gives us more energy and stamina to work for positive and progressive resistance and change).
So imagine my surprise when, taking my dog out to pee one evening last week, I looked down and there was my earring! Nowhere near the place I thought I had lost it, but on the ground, at my feet, in my front yard. Weird.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I was happy to have it back! But I also wondered: after all my reflecting and accepting and writing and even preaching about letting go, why had my earring returned to me? What did it mean?
I don’t know. I really don’t. Except, perhaps Epiphany is a season for signs, a time for the unexpected: whether you celebrate the arrival of the Magi in Bethlehem after weeks of following a special star or commemorate Jesus’ baptism with its appearance of a dove and the sound of a voice, “You are my beloved Son. With whom I am well pleased.”
Stars. Voices. Doves. Earrings. I suppose they’re all signs, pointing toward something we can’t quite understand: a poor Jewish baby who is also a King, an itinerant rabbi chosen by G-D, a Creator of the Stars who is, somehow, in love with us, or a special leaf earring that always makes me think of the words to this chant:
And when I rise, I will rise, like a bird, joyfully.
And when I fall, I will fall, like a leaf, gracefully, without regret.
As we begin 2018, I pray that all your risings and fallings, this Epiphany and beyond, contain wonder, revelation, and signposts pointing to God’s ever-present Love.
It may be a time for miracles.
Love and Blessings,
P.S. I want to THANK YOU for sending in your 2018 pledge commitments, so the Cabinet can finalize this year’s budget on Sunday. Because of YOU, we reached our goal!
EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
MLK Gospel Service: “Sing for Freedom!” 1/14—Join us this Sunday for our third annual MLK Weekend Gospel Service and Sing Along. We’ll be led by folk singer and acoustic musician, Diana Wagner, www.dianawagnermusic.com. All musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and play along (there will be a run through at 9:30 am). Everyone else, come prepared to SING!
Cabinet Meeting, 1/14—We’ll meet in the library after worship. This is the bi-monthly meeting of our church’s lay leadership. All are welcome!
Poetry Hour, 1/21—Join us from 4-5 pm in the church parlor and bring one or two poems on a Beginning theme (with 8 copies to share). Friends are welcome! Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org.
FaithLife Group, 1/21—This group meets from 5:30-7 pm in the parlor. We’re currently discussing the relevance of the Protestant Reformation to our lives and faith today. Questions? email@example.com.
Dinner and a Movie: The Confirmation, 1/26—A divorced father and his 8-year-old son are about to spend a somewhat predictable weekend together, but when a valuable toolbox gets stolen, the search for the thieves will turn into true family bonding. Ann Hornaday writes: this 2016 film “might be my favorite kind of Christmas movie—the kind that prizes ignorance more highly than religious certainty.” Movie at 7 pm, simple supper at 6:30 pm. Sign up in the parlor or email firstname.lastname@example.org by 1/24.
100th Anniversary Through the Decades: 20s and 30s, 1/28—Join us for a 10:30 am worship service commemorating our congregation’s experience in the 20s and 30s. Come in period costume or bring personal artifacts from those decades. Then browse the “museum table” of church artifacts from this time period during coffee hour.
Annual Congregational Meeting, 1/28—We’ll meet after worship for our annual meeting to approve the 2018 budget, vote for our new lay leadership team, and preview 2018 plans and programs. Every voice has a vote, and we need yours!
100th Anniversary “Decades Dinner” 2/3—Join us for an evening of food, fellowship and fun! Bring a potluck dish to represent the decade of your choice and, if you’d like, a musical selection from that decade as well. Sign up in the parlor so we know who’s coming and what food you’re bringing. Email Dorothy at email@example.com if you want to share some music.