Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Epiphany and Heresy

Today is January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany, the official end of Christmas.  The church season of Epiphany is one of deepening understanding, of achieving greater insights, and especially coming to know--deep in our bones--who Jesus the Christ was.  We seek to know Jesus, not as a mere name or figure from history, but to know His true nature both human and divine. Through this exploration we come to realize a bit more of the divine aspect of humanity and human aspect of divinity.  

One of the stories commonly read during Epiphany is that of the Wise Ones who visited Jesus and brought him gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh.  Now, we actually don't know how many visitors there were.  Tradition says three because of the assumption of one gift per visitor, and we assume they were men simply because of the patriarchal nature of society back then.  In truth we do not know how many there were, nor their respective Gender.  But we do know they went to great lengths to learn about Jesus.  They march right into King Herod's' court, arguably and reasonably one the more paranoid rulers in history, and ask where the new king was born.  Rulers really don't like their authority being questioned, but the Wise ones were willing to risk their heads, literally, in order to learn.  Furthermore, let us not forget that they traveled a great distance to get to Bethlehem.  Travel was much harder, and much more dangerous back then.  The lengths these visitor went to are extreme.  

That passion, that drive, that willingness to journey, risk, and persevere, that grit, is something to which we should aspire.  We should be willing to seek Jesus no matter what.  Jobs, family, entertainment, sports, government, even church should not stand in our way of seeking to learn of Jesus and to seek to be in Jesus' presence.

So those are my thoughts on Epiphany, now Heresy.  In this case Weyerbacher's Heresy Bourbon Stout .   My Sermon Workshop Friend, Rev. John Adams, brought some over to the house as a Christmas present for the viewing of the Sugar Bowl, where The Ohio State Buckeyes soundly defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide; for which I was much pleased.  Anyway, I have had the Heresy before, but I forgot how delicious it is.  It is one of the smoothest bourbon stouts I have ever had.  The flavors are ridiculously well balanced.  Coffee, cocoa, oak, bourbon are harmonized into a symphony of rich delight.  It's 8% ABV, makes it decently strong but not so over powering that it tastes like rubbing alcohol.  It tastes like beer not booze, if you will. 

So, in the cold dark of Epiphany, I highly recommend holing up in a comfy chair with a bottle of Heresy in one hand, and one of the Gospels of Jesus Christ in the other.  

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