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Loving God, loving each other

by davesandel on January 6th, 2021

Wednesday, January 6, 2021              (today’s lectionary)

Wednesday after Epiphany

Loving God, loving each other

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also can love one another. And we must. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.

Last night’s Twelfth Night party would have been the best ever. How can any party in 2021, celebrating the end of 2020, not be the best ever? On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …

On the other hand, my First World poor-me mentality is getting old. Life has been difficult for so many for so long. I have the responsibility to smile and bear whatever comes to me.

There is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

But I can still imagine how great our party might have been. We do not arrive on camels, and everyone, not just three but each of us wise men and women bears a gift wrapped in gold paper. Our party home is quietly frank-incensed, sweet and savory everywhere. Instead of disinfectant we have lotion made from myrrh waiting at the door to soften all our hands. Handshakes and hugs replace masks at last.

None of us can wait for the King’s Cake, and it isn’t long before the lucky “king” plucks out the hidden wooden Baby Jesus from their piece. We bow and scrape the floor in front of her, she waves her wand and we all sing our songs of praise. Remembering that next year she will be the baker of the cake, we seek her good graces … feed her big green grapes as she rests on her throne, write poetry remarking on her beauty, laugh at her jokes.

O God, with your judgment endow the king … that she should have pity for the lowly and the poor.

None of us are really party animals, and at times most of us take a few minutes to be alone. There are many things now to consider, as we watch our days turn into years. We have learned to pray, and Jesus leads the way. He is always there when we separate, and he is always there when we gather together again. Jesus seems to know what we’re thinking, and he gives us the freedom to move about our country.

When Jesus took his leave of the crowd, he went off to the mountain to pray. And then in a storm he came walking toward them on the sea, and they were terrified. He meant to pass by them but stopped, and he said, “Take heart, it is I! Do not be afraid.” Jesus came to them in the boat, and then with his words softened the storm. The wind became still, and his friends were amazed.

Our party pushes into midnight, and twelfth day of Christmas is complete. Twelfth Night is winding down, it won’t be long till Ordinary Time begins. Our desire to love one another, fed always by God’s love poured out on us, grows stronger and more wistful as we part ways, hoping to see one another soon, feeling gratitude for the past year and hope for the next, knowing that the years show us what our days cannot.

We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.

(1 John 4, Psalm 72, 1 Tim 3, Mark 6)

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