Sunday, January 8, 2012
The Whitewashed Tombs
The Feast of the Epiphany
Jesus says, “Woe to your scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like the whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”
The Epiphany brings to the forefront what is important in our lives once again. The magi looking for the star: the sign that a new king would be born, a Messiah, to align the heavens and the earth to God. To restore friendship with mankind--to Him who loves us so much He sent his only son to die, to become the Way, the Truth, and the Light in His person--the Word Incarnate. If we miss this deeper story we are missing the meaning beneath the Wise men, the Magi, the visionaries; the letting go of what we hold onto that isn’t of God; our puny empires of power, of illusions; the letting go of our need to be right, to cling to ego instead of watching for God in the depths of our darkest sky-- in the eyes of the other. To embrace the coming back into alignment; of communion with God’s creations to Jesus; of following Christ in our lives with our richest energies.
We cannot have an epiphany in our lives if we do not believe we are broken and need healing. If we do not step out of the structures of our egos to see the ways we are “whitewashed tombs with dead men’s bones and uncleanness within.” If we do not follow the tug of Christ who redeems us, who comes as the most vulnerable so that we may gaze on Him, hold Him, and love Him.
The deep abiding joy that comes with the epiphany of who this Child is and who we are, sharers in His Divinity, causes us to go back into life a different way. Each time we come before him with our gifts of self, our complete surrender in our emptiness, He leads us along our desert path to the deep, abiding springs of Him.
My prayer on this Feast of the Epiphany is one of surrendering more and more the broken and dis-eased vestiges of self, and the world, to the Light of the world, the King of kings and Lord of lords; to give thanks and praise for the joy of His coming, in His myriad ways, in the weave of our days.
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”