No, really! I’ve had one.
I love that the word “epiphany” is used by lots of people. It’s a common word to hear thrown around, mostly with the verb “had” or “having.” “I’ve had an epiphany! I’m going to build an entire house because I saw it on Pinterest!”
Maybe that’s just me?
No, this is a different epiphany. Epiphany traditionally is the day, of course, when the magi came to see the baby (todder?) Jesus, because that’s where the star they were following had stopped, and that’s when they gave him gifts. It used to be celebrated at the same time as the Baptism of Jesus (and we still did that yesterday, sort of), but then a pope decided that they needed to be separate.
Still. It means a vision of God, a holy manifestation, and that’s precisely the sense in which I had one, or am having one, this year. It began last year, when I had to pray and think hard about what God was calling me to do in my current church. Preach the gospel, sure, which is a steady sort of drumming under everything I do, I hope. But this year was….different. We were in a financial crisis, which I have mentioned, and still are in some ways. And it was scary! We were scared, and so as a couple of decisions of which I was a part, we cut the budget, we trimmed staff, we closed down some things.
But this did not seem Jesus-y to me at all.
I began to pray about it at the same time as my esteemed colleague began to pray and think about it (we call this NOT a coincidence). We came to the same place. This year, our 60th anniversary as a church, we will, as pastors, call people to make a decision. Do we want to shrink, as a church, in all meanings of the word, or do we want to grow?
It’s really as simple as that. When that question came to me, it was a giant relief. It wasn’t as complicated as we make it out to be. It wasn’t as tricky as advanced math. It was simply this…we are the church. Do we, as a people, want to shrink, or grow?
The answer, to me, is out of my hands. I know what I can see us doing, and I know what my answer is, but that doesn’t matter as much as the question, and the question was my epiphany.
So (what a long intro you have there, chickpastor!), this Epiphany I will blog about our journey as a church, and how we’re going to, no matter what, walk in the Light.