Sunday, January 4, 2015

What Light do I Follow?

Guide us to the perfect light, we sing in the traditional Epiphany song, “We Three Kings” A little story of me being led to a not-so-perfect light due to my own pride….A few months ago I was driving in the dark through rural Wisconsin looking for the entrance to the interstate that would lead me back to Milwaukee.  My GPS said to turn R at the light about 700ft.  There were two lights just a block apart and while the GPS said to turn right I thought is must be wrong as my visual calculation seemed to point me to the second light.  Well’’ long story short after tuning right at the second light I found myself out in the country nowhere any entrance to the interstate.  Luckily I just turned back and took the route that the GPS was suggesting.  Now I do not say GPS technology does not have some mistakes, but this science has been tested and proven to be for the most part accurate.  However rather than trust in something true, I decided to make my own personal decision based on a personal opinion rather than a fact.  I followed the wrong light,  but the light that true and tested technology first led me to via that GPS was the correct route.

Celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany, the showing forth of God’s glory manifested in Christ through the light that came from the east via a star, is a concrete reminder to us that Christ is now the true light, as we say in our creed each week, that wishes to lead us in the right path towards our eternal home. And this true light has illuminated us so to know His teachings and especially to lead us to His truth when our own personal opinions, or feelings want to lead us elsewhere.  There are conflicting and even competing “lights” out there tempting us to follow erroneous and false paths. Most of the time it is due to us following feelings rather than truth, fiction over fact.  And for a people of faith who are called to make moral choices and act upon them, moral relativism can create false lights that can mislead us way from Christ and his teaching.

This is unfortunately true in our respect for human life, from conception to natural death. Our church does have some objective truths, and even today can be supported by good science as to when life begins.  It begins at conception.  After conception a new person has been created with her or his unique possibilities. Again this is science, the same science that taught us; and even us as a church that the earth is not flat, nor 6K years old.  Confusing facts  with opinions based on emotions or fear, I call them the false “lights” can still be found in our world today.  To many people want to use fear and fallacies to validate their own fears.  In a recent discussion about the senseless murder of two policemen, as well as the racial discord we have seen by some, I heard someone say that people of a certain race were prone to crime due to their race.  This is absolutely false.  There are other and scientifically proven factors that cause crime; poverty, abandonment by fathers, lack of proper nutrition and quality education during the formative years, despair that lead to drugs, which in turn lead to crime.  Being born to one race or another does not ensure a genetic trait of criminality, or lack of the ability to know the difference between right and wrong. Again, good science debunks the many deceptive “lights” out there that lead many into fear.   But the light of Christ articulated through our shared faith can lead us out of darkness into the place where we need to be.  Not afraid to confront our fears, but to tirelessly work to end them.

So as we venture into this new year may we allow ourselves to follow the true light, given to us through the true faith, that we worship in the undivided and life-creating Trinity week after week. Christ is that light,  May we learn from him and allow his truth to lead us in all that we say and do, to guide us all to that “perfect light.”


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