Not only do we celebrate the three kings today, but at Epiphany we also celebrate the baptism of Jesus in the river Jordan. We celebrate Jesus, whom before he is ready to receive the Christ at the baptism, must feel the deep need of a humanity that has lost all connection to the Spirit. We celebrate Jesus, whom before he can be anointed with the Spirit, must feel the deep suffering of a humanity in need of healing. For Jesus to receive God, required him to first feel a deep need for God.
Within each one of us, within every human heart, there is also one in deep need. This is the one in us who knows it is broken, not yet whole. Perhaps surprisingly, this one in us that is in constant need of grace is our actual human self. And this self of ours must, if it is to receive the presence of God in our hearts, if it is to receive the bestowal of wholeness, our self must, like Jesus, first feel the need for healing, the need for the Spirit. And this need to become a receiver of grace that lives in every human spirit only comes alive when we feel humility; our need only comes alive when we are full of reverent longing for The Spirit.
And yet, so much of the time we would hinder HIS Spirit from anointing us; so much of the time we would deny our ‘Epiphany’. We hinder HIS Spirit from anointing us by hiding from the vulnerability of our deep need, afraid that to be in need is to be weak. We hinder HIS Spirit from anointing us by running from our desperate loneliness into sensory distractions and empty addictions. And perhaps the most difficult hindrance of all to opening to HIS spirit is the illusion that we are already whole, that we are already perfect and one with God, making the practice of communion with HIM superfluous.
These hindrances which we all face, block our way to the Jordan, block our way to knowing Christ. But the baptism of Jesus, Epiphany, will always show us the way of entering into true life, Epiphany will always show us the essence of our human mission; That no matter how many or how big the stones are in the stream of our lives, we are called to stand up in the rushing river, begging and in need, and allow our brokenness to be blessed.
May our steps to communion, be steps into the river Jordan.
This contemplation by Rev. Evans was inspired by Epiphany and the baptism of Jesus.