Jan. 7, 2021 Rector's Letter
Yesterday was a big day full of emotion. Please know that I am praying for you. My prayer is that you are finding peace amid the chaos and that you stay steadfast on the path of Christ even as you may be weary. I pray that as you journey through this life, you will continue to radiate Jesus’ Light and Love into the world.
Last night about 40 of us came together to celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany in a live Zoom service. The Epiphany is when we celebrate God’s glory being revealed to all people, all nations, to the ends of the earth, for the purpose of salvation. At the Epiphany, we receive the Light of Christ. It is the day in the church year that we receive our epiphany—our commission to be bearers of Light: Christ-bearers carrying forward the Prince of Peace into a broken and hurting world.
I knew I was not the only person eager for connection last night, and I started our service with a check-in. When I invited everyone to put a word or two in the chat to tell the group how they were feeling, in came all the very real, very heavy emotions of the day: sad, exhausted, helpless, sad, heartbroken. It felt good to name our collective feelings and to allow them to be part of our time together.
And then came a response from four-year-old Rynn, the Morellis’ granddaughter (who has given her permission for me to talk about her today). Rynn gave us another word: happy.
I couldn’t help but to smile—we all did. It made us happy to know that four-year-old Rynn was feeling happy and that she was willing to share her happiness with the rest of us who were not feeling so happy. And So it is with the Light, our theme throughout the next six weeks of Epiphanytide. “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:5)
Last night Rynn was a bearer of Christ’s Light—a Christ-bearer. And when the Light of Christ shined through Rynn in a small but important (and wonderful) way, the Light changed all of us on the call in a small but important (and wonderful) way. Indeed, as I woke up this morning noticing once more the weight of the world, I smiled again just thinking about happy Rynn, shining with the Light of Christ and having the courage to share it with everyone.
As Rynn showed us last night, being a Christ-bearer happens most often in the small things—things that may seem inevitable or unremarkable. We shine the Light of Christ through every little kindness, every act of love, every step back so others can step forward, every instance of violence avoided, every act of making peace.
In fact, when God asks us to come alongside God’s work of salvation in the world, it is most often a call for little acts. God only asks of us what God knows we can do—what is in our control. God is the one doing the heavy lifting.
So when things feel out of control, I invite you to control what you can. This may be your prayers or even just your intent: your intent to bear Light. Because even this small but important (and wonderful) act will change you, and the Light will grow. Because that’s the thing about Light: it grows and grows and grows.
I invite you this week to carry forward the Prince of Peace by bearing Christ’s Light in small but important (and wonderful) ways. And as things feel out of control, I pray that you will dig into what is in your control. It is the little things already in your control that God is calling you to do.
And as you bless the Light this week, you might thank God for small but important (and wonderful) little prophets like Rynn, Christ-bearers unafraid to shine Jesus’ Light and Love into our broken and hurting world. May we all be so bold in shining and sharing Christ’s Light!
Much love and so many prayers,
Rynn - Tom and Polly Morellis' ganddaughter.