The small yellow flowers of the forsythia bushes invite me to notice the subtle lengthening of the days. Pale green nubs poking through the ground remind me that in the dark soil below there is a lot of growth and nourishment going on. Day by day it is hard to notice the two extra minutes of sunlight we are granted. Yet month by month, I am aware that the light is staying with us longer. Our spiritual growth is often like this: apparent to us only when remove ourselves from the daily grind and take time to reflect on the larger arc of our lives.
These small signs of life, forsythia blossoms and green nubs emerging from the dark earth, manifest Epiphany. Each week in the preface of our Eucharistic prayer, we chant: “because in the mystery of the Word made flesh, you have caused a new light to shine in our hearts, to give the knowledge of your glory in the face of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (BCP page 378). The new light is everywhere once we begin to look for it.
But perhaps the place to look for it and to celebrate it the most is in the place of our hearts, the place where our spirit meets God’s Spirit. Through the Eucharist, Jesus says to us: “I want to be with you, even in you, just as you are….on your good days to share in your joy, on your sad days to assure you of my companionship, and especially on the days you feel unworthy because I will say ‘You are my beloved.’”
Here at the corner of 7th and Tryon streets, our corner of God’s vineyard, Jesus is inviting us to come and discover the light within ourselves and within each person we encounter. But God knows we can’t do this alone, and so God gives us one another for encouragement and support along the way. Together we are stronger and more able to reflect Christ’s light as a “beacon of hope in Center City Charlotte.”
May God bless us on this path.