The Pastor’s Desk: Epiphany, Love and Visitation
by Pastor William Ringer
The grace and love of Christ be with you during this blessed season of Epiphany. Surely, when we think of February, we think of Valentine’s Day, cards, flowers, fancy dinners, dancing, dates, and all the romance that comes along with it. Love is a wonderful thing. A true blessing and gift from God, as we are reminded that God created us man and woman, to be in relationship with one another. For the non-relationship types out there, being single is a not so much a dilemma as some might want to think. Even being single is a fine thing – consider the Apostle Paul, who was neither married, nor much concerned with whom he would ask to prom during his mission journeys throughout the known world at that time. We celebrate relationships, we celebrate vocations, we celebrate the individual saints in our congregations. All are God’s children, all are ultimately loved by the greatest love there is – the love of Jesus Christ revealed to us upon the cross.
And this is the purpose of the season of Epiphany. It serves to prepare us for Lent by revealing the true identity and nature of Jesus. It recalls to us that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. That God, became man and walked the earth, truly present in the flesh – living, breathing, ministering, proclaiming the Good News, pointing us to the final and great sacrifice which He Himself would be on our behalf. For this reason, Epiphany is also known as the season of visitation. We recall the wonder and mystery of God as man, truly visiting and dwelling with us in the flesh, on earth, in mortal body. We recall the visit of the Magi, who brought gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. We recall how Jesus visited with the people of Israel, with both Jew and Gentile. Yes, we even recall when Jesus visited the home of Peter and healed his mother-in-law. We recall the glory and wonder of relationship and visitation in this season – the love which we share as God’s people redeemed by the very Christ who came among us in the flesh, and continues to come among us in His Word as well as in His very glorified and risen body and blood in the Sacrament of the Altar.
As we recall this visitation of our Lord and His love for us in this season, might I also remind the people of the congregation, that I am always available to visit with you! A simple phone call, a light tap on the shoulder, even a message via your preferred electronic means… that is all it takes. Historically, this season was the time when clergy would visit the homes of the people they served – often performing house blessings in the process. And, I being a man who greatly rejoices in the wonderful traditions and history of the Christian Church would be delighted to visit, to chat, and even bless a few homes. May the love of God be with you in this season, may His love visit your dwellings, and may His presence grant you peace.
And when Jesus entered Peter’s house, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve Him. – Matthew 8:14-15