Do you like surprises?  

Kind of depends on what sort of surprise we are talking about doesn’t it??  I mean, if we’re talking about a surprise gift … sure.. absolutely!!  If however, we are talking about that sudden spill-your-coffee/jump-out-of-your-skin sort that comes from having someone sneak up on us or jump out at us in the dark(???) .. not so much!!  If we are talking about the sudden “aha moment” that comes when you finally get that puzzle or conundrum you are working through.. again.. for sure!!!  If though, we are talking about that gobsmacked shock we feel when the lights suddenly go on and you realize you have just walked in to your surprise party(???) … well…  I think that depends on the kind of person you are.  (PLEASE .. never do this to me!!!!!!!!!)

 The season of Epiphany (beginning Jan 6th) that we now walk through in our church calendar is a season all about surprise.  In this case mostly the good kind.  As in.. it is the season when we hear and focus on the stories of Jesus now beginning to “appear” in public with increasingly shocking bits of revelation of who He really is.  It begins with the story of the Wise Men (the Magi) coming from distant countries to remind us that this new “good news” is for the whole world.  On the other end we will hear about the trip up the mountain where a profound glimpse of Jesus’ full glory sets the tone for the journey to the cross we take in Lent. (Transfiguration Sunday - Feb 11)

 Along the way & in between those, how you & I react to the epiphanies/surprises Jesus will give us sort of depends on who you might be expecting Jesus to be.  To hear that Jesus is the one who is ready to immerse Himself as deeply as He does in to the realities and vagaries of life IS mostly a welcome thing.  On the other hand to hear Jesus call US in to a just as messy engagement with life.. well.. again.. probably depends on what you are looking for in Jesus.

 And so it is I warn you.. BUCKLE UP!!  It is probably going to be a bumpy ride in the days to come.  Ready yourself to see again that Jesus DOES love you THAT MUCH!!! But maybe please also be ready to be just as open to where that might take you.. for what being that beloved does to you!!


-       Pastor Stewart - Jan 18/18