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Jesus is Epiphany!

"Out of Christ's fullness we have received grace upon grace"! I collapsed into one of our green chairs Sunday morning after what seemed a blur of our two services. The energy in which I had begun the morning faded into exhaustion. I was deeply moved and deeply spent. I never know for sure what experience any given Sunday will bring. God never works in the same way so you can't calculate a given moment, conversation, or experience. God just shows up! His glory is always in the face of Christ.   


These are days of rapid change for Nature Coast. Change has always made me fearful. Change can make us fearful and distrustful. As the days of Christmas came to a close and the days of Epiphany came I found myself looking for Epiphany as if it was some kind of nugget, knowledge, or proposition. Is the truth of  Jesus + Nothing = Everything Epiphany? Jesus is God? Light overcoming darkness? God loves the world? All of these truths are beautiful, life-changing truths but at some moment while standing sharing good news in the second service I realized that Epiphany is not a revealed truth or nugget it is a Person! Jesus is the living, breathing Epiphany! 


As I was speaking fear was being shattered by peace. Darkness and uncertainty extinguished by light. I was so moved by the honesty and simplicity of St. John 1:18. No one has seen God, but Jesus has because Jesus is God. Jesus knows the Father's heart and if we want to know the Father's heart, well, Jesus is here. All we need do is look at Jesus. Jesus reveals God's heart and GOD IS LOVE! We need not fear in the midst of this season of rapid change. We need not fear if  we will or have to 'perform' well. Why? There is no fear in love. God's perfect love (Christ) drives out fear! Fear always involves punishment. Fear is always tied to performance. Christ's love has come and given us power (performed) to be Children of God!  It takes a lifetime to understand this beloveds! It takes a life time to remind us what is true! We are the beloved children of God! 


There in the quietness of a green chair was a moment in my lifetime. Spent yet at rest, as if I had been run over by a freight train of love and grace. It takes a lifetime! We all share this moment of our lifetimes together. Let's spend 2020 reminding each other what is true! We are God's beloved children and He is well pleased with us!  When St. John writes "out of Christ fullness we have received grace upon grace"  that is a Promise and GOD DOES NOT LIE! 


Looking forward to being freight trained by grace together with you all!


Brad

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