Third Sunday in Epiphany 2011

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The Season of Epiphany is the time when we specifically remember the many lengths and depths by which God has revealed Himself to us. Indeed, He is even willing to condescend to the length and depth of delivering His own Son to the Cross, so that the extent of His love may be revealed even to the most recalcitrant of sinners. If the Roman Centurion, a symbol of the oppression of Israel, is able to exclaim boldly and sincerely at Calvary, “truly, this is the Son of God,” then there is no man who is beyond this divine self-revelation. There is no man who is so far gone in his own sinful life as to be impenetrable to the love of God and the redemption offered through His Son. We are never too far for Him; the question, really, is how close we are willing to travel to Him?

This is an important question, because in the end it takes two to tango in the act of divine revelation. For God to reveal Himself to men, who have forgotten what it is like to live in an intimate, familial relationship with Him in the innocence of Eden, God first must assume the lengths and depths necessary to reach even a hardened, resolute sinner, as symbolized by a Roman Centurion standing before Calvary, or a Samaritan approaching Christ Jesus beside a well, or an outsider receiving an invitation to the feast. Then, for there to be revelation, the men who have been beckoned must respond. They must be willing to travel closer to Him, however haltingly. They must be willing even to drink from whatever cup God may provide for them. The Good News is that Christ Jesus has taken on this burden for us: the Father is forever giving to His Son; the Son is forever responding to His Father; and, because Christ Jesus offers Himself to us, we are able then to respond to His Father, faithfully and lovingly, as fellow Sons of the living, revealing God. What I am describing here of course is a holy, mysterious, but still very real dance, where a step by the Father invites a timely response by each and every one of us. At times, the dance resembles a tango: it is dramatic, full of that seductive pathos of loving even more what seems wrongfully elusive, like Job grasping for the God who reveals Himself poignantly in His very silence. At times, the same dance resembles a stately waltz: it is beautiful in its timing and form, gracefully capturing the love that is to be found in doing what one is meant to do, like Mary dutifully accepting the call to be the Mother of Christ Jesus and then forever pondering Him in her heart. Other times, the same dance resembles a lindy hop: it is most joyfully frivolous and fun, happily letting go of the cares and concerns of this world so as to bask in the Light, like the children who are allowed in their soft innocence and mirth to interrupt Christ Jesus from His ministry.

As divine self-revelation then is an elaborate, consuming dance between God and man, we may see then how fitting it is that Christ Jesus should perform His first miracle at a wedding. Miracles performed by Christ Jesus are acts of revelation, in that they are manifestations of the healing presence of God in the world and invitations to each and every one of us to be responsive in some manner. In other words, like a dance, miracles are steps by the Father and responses by men. He steps in a manner that captures our attention, like turning water into wine; we respond, by doing whatever it is that Christ Jesus tells us to do. In the course of this miraculous interplay, this divine self-revelation, He discloses more of Himself to us, and we step closer to Him.

A wedding is a celebration of two people, a man and a woman, coming together to share in this dance with one another, a dance that evolves and matures over the blessed lifetime that the husband and wife will have with one another. A man leads, and his wife responds, in a manner intended to be reflective of the dance of divine self-revelation that God offers for all men through Christ Jesus. He is for us, as the man leads his wife; we come closer to Him, as the wife responds to her husband. In the wedding ceremony, and in the highs and lows of married life, we are taught by the way in which we live out our lives with our loving spouses how we are to live in closer fidelity to God. The essence of divine self-revelation is not a booming voice, that sounds eerily like Charlton Heston, nor a light in the sky; it is in how we learn to live in and for our Father.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Published by Michael Sean Erickson

I write, act, and produce films in Los Angeles. Everything else is conjecture.

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