Epiphany Reflection

It's very possible that it may have escaped your attention, but today, January 6, is Epiphany, a special day in the Church year. It's the day we officially remember the visit of the Magi to the child Jesus, and celebrate their journey of curiosity, frustration, faith and discovery that in many ways mirrors our life journeys. It's the day that the Christmas Season officially ends, and a new season, the Epiphany Season of paying fuller attention to the ever-present Light of Christ in our world, begins.

And it's the day some Christians "chalk their doors."

This was a tradition I hadn't heard about until just this morning. Evidently, for a long time, all around the world, people have been doing this on Epiphany. Using chalk, to symbolize the common stuff of the earth, they mark the top of their home's front door with a cross; and then the first two numbers of that year; then a "C M B" that stand both for the legendary names of the magi, "Caspar, Melchoir and Balthazar as well as for Latin words asking Christ to bless the home "Christus Mansionem Benedicat" followed by the last two numbers of the year; and another cross.

Then they share in a simple prayer, asking that their home be blessed in the year ahead, and that each person who enters that home, be blessed as well. It is a way to be reminded throughout the year that every person is God-touched; that the Light that has come into the world shines into our most ordinary daily routines.

As the last remnants of the holiday schedules begin to fade away, "normal" is returning to our homes and to our church. Church meetings and classes have begun reconvening; the youth group gathers this afternoon for a winter retreat; we return to our regular worship times this Sunday. But in the midst of it all, we are blessed if we remember that it is all holy, all wondrous in common ways - the meetings that lay the groundwork for transforming lives; the youth event that may create a memory that sustains a young person for years ahead; the worship in which we sing the song, hear the word or share the sacrament that reminds us of the great love of God that holds us, the Light of Christ that is present with us through every day, and every night.

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