Pastor’s Pen

The Reverend Alvin Shrum, Pastor

Dear Family and Friends of St. Johannes!

As we begin a new year, the Church moves from Christmas to Epiphany, and into the Sundays after the Epiphany. Many of us first encountered Epiphany through the familiar account of three wise men bearing gifts as they followed the bright star provided by God.

The word epiphany means appearance or manifestation. Use of either word conjures images of having a light bulb turned on, or of being able to see something that was once hidden from view.

In some cultures, Epiphany is known as the Twelfth Day or Twelfth Night,
reflecting an old custom of giving a gift for each of the days from December 25 to January 6 for the 12 days of Christmas. The day of Epiphany has a special meaning for a number of reasons. Several branches of Christianity celebrate the birth of the Christ-Child on January 6th or 7th.

The Gospel readings for the Sundays of this month dramatize the many ways that we came to understand who Jesus was, and lead to deeper meaning of belief and faith! But this ever-widening circle of revelation began ‘outside the circle’ of Judaism, so to speak, with the Magi.

As we begin 2019, and as we move through the season of Epiphany let us learn from the magi.

Let us remember that like the wise ones or magi, God will provide us with
inspiration and guidance on our journeys. Wherever those journeys take us, and it may be out of our “comfort zones” and into new “areas of faith and worship” like the magi, God will be with us, and may even be leading us to unexpected places.

After having traveled countless miles, the star led these new worshipers to a baby, lying in a feeding trough, in a barn. Imagine that reality!

So, what star will guide you this year? Where and to what might God be leading you to do? Where and whatever it is, know that God is your Light, always leading, guiding, and accompanying you!

This Epiphany, let us be drawn to the baby who was once lying in the manger and is now indeed the Christ, Emmanuel! May this manifestation be the Light that provides us with direction throughout this New Year.

I pray you will have a prosperous 2019; may it be filled with blessings, joy and peace!

Pastor Alvin Shrum