For many years now my mother, as well as other folks I know, one just recently diagnosed, have struggled with "MD," macular degeneration.
And although I do not understand a great deal about this medical condition, I do know that most people with MD lose their eyesight, beginning with their central vision (straight ahead), until finally they lose their peripheral vision as well.
Yes, there are available treatments for this condition, but to my knowledge, the treatments are only temporary - currently, there is no cure for MD.
MD, the medical condition, is all about losing the ability to see with one's eyes. "But what does MD have to do with the church?" you ask.
Shortly after Christmas we celebrate what the church refers to as the epiphany of Jesus Christ. Epiphany is all about one's ability to "see" Jesus and to understand who He really is. The word epiphany actually refers to one's ability to see and to understand. The word means "manifestation," a "revealing of or an uncovering of," or a sudden (often intuitive) leap of understanding.
Many people think of an epiphany as the moment they suddenly understand something significant in their life. Many people experience epiphanies in their knowing and understanding of each other, as well.
Finally, when we look at Jesus, who/what do we "see?" Do we see a little child, a great prophet, a "tall story," or do we see our God, who offers to save us all from fear and death?
When we look at Jesus, are there things about Him that we seek to know yet cannot quite see? What would an epiphany of Jesus look like anyway?
I invite you to seek something new about Jesus. Perhaps there is something about Jesus that can help us be less self-centered, less angry with the world, less fatalistic and more trusting and hopeful, and loving and supportive of all people.
Indeed, I urge you to join me this year as I look for a new, fresh perspective of Jesus.
I'll see you in church, the grocery store, working out at the gym or around town.
You can e-mail Pastor Michael by visiting www.stjohnsumc.com.