Orphans. My lovely wife, Cynthia, and I acknowledged that we are, in some sense, both orphans. With the recent death of her father, all of our parents have made the passage into death; the passage that awaits us all. We were both blessed to have our parents around for much of our lives. We were also both blessed to have parents whose love was unconditional, from whom we learned what we needed to grow into adulthood. That we miss them deeply is a testament to the beauty of their lives.
Because I currently call the Lighthouse home, I have, I think, a bit of a unique perspective on all the activities that happen in and around our church building on a weekly basis. It never ceases to amaze me, for example, how frequently the parking lot is full on random weekday evenings when you might otherwise assume that this place would be a ghost town.
Over my desk hang renderings of the two most influential martyrs and prophets of my life: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King Jr. On this, the birthday of Dr. King, I spent a little time looking at these two icons as they seemed to stare over my work watchfully. Each was martyred at age 39. Each fought the most formidable evils of their respective times – Nazism and Racism/Segregation. Each articulated a faith in Jesus Christ that drove them not to perfection, but to action and sacrifice. And I ask myself, “What the heck is wrong with you, Olson? With all the injustice and hate around, why are you sitting here?”
Monday, January 6th was Epiphany. Some know it as the day to take down our Christmas trees because the 12 days of Christmas have passed. But we also know it as the day that Christ was made known to the Magi in Bethlehem. The story is found in Matthew, chapter 2. It’s interesting to me that the story of the Magi’s journey and visit to the Christ child is longer than the story of the Christ child’s birth, which tells me that Matthew thinks this story is important for us to hear and know. A key point in the story is worship.