Many centuries ago, when the light of Christ was just beginning to dawn forth upon the earth — after the man Jesus Christ had left this world and left the responsibility to spread the light of God in the hands of his disciples — a church planter named Paul wrote to one of the earliest Christian churches that “we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory” [2 Cor. 3:18].
Life is a journey of becoming, and in the course of our lives we must deal effectively with change and accept patiently the times of adversity and uncertainty. Although we can’t always control our circumstances, we have the freedom to choose how to interpret the struggles we experience — and by doing this, we can become our best selves, being transformed in the divine image.
In today’s service, we focus on the theme of Transformation. We also honor the patient dedication of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who persevered in teaching ideas that were ahead of his time.
This week, on January 6, Christians celebrate Epiphany, commemorating the visit of the Magi, or the “three wise men” from the East, to pay homage to the infant Jesus. The Magi were most likely Zoroastrian priests from Persia, who were seeking the fulfillment of a prophecy in their own religion for the coming of a messiah. As this example shows, we should be willing to look for truth wherever it can be found, even if it’s outside the boundaries of our own religion or culture.
In a world full of mixed messages, how can we know when we’ve found a source of spiritual truth? In our first service, we commemorate the discovery of Jesus by the Magi, who were seeking a savior — and we reflect upon the importance of discernment and building our faith upon a solid foundation. We also celebrate the life of Julian of Norwich, a woman who survived a pandemic in the Middle Ages and received revelations of God’s love.