The Light of the World – Epiphany

Isaiah 60:1-6, Matthew 2:1-12

The world around us is dark.

Police officers are being killed at a higher rate than ever.

More people are killed by police than ever before.

Non-whites are killed by police more than whites.

More celebrities died in 2016 than ever.

More than half of all marriages end in divorce, and the number is increasing every year.

Christians were martyred at a higher rate than ever.

The Pope said Jesus is a failure.

Actually, none of those things are true.

But, but but… I saw it on the internet. I heard about it on TV.

LEOKA – 2016 is up from 2015, but 1/3 of the rate in the 70’s – See LEOKA data analyzed by BBC, Dan Wang, LawStreetMedia

 

Washington Post – Racial Distribution
2016: Total = 963, White = 465 (48%), Non-White = 435 (45%)
2015: Total = 991, White = 495 (50%), Non-White = 468  (47%)

 

Celebrity Deaths

 

NY Times on divorce rate myth

 

Christian deaths lower than last year.

 

Jimmy Aiken gives details on what the Pope said about Jesus as a failure.

None of them.

“Darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples,” you see.

Yes, there is darkness, and we have a spiritual enemy who wants to blind us to the light, and spend our hours surfing through and obsessing upon the darkness. He wants to magnify darkness, and fill our eyes with smoke, so that we forget there is a light.

Yes, the world is dark, but we have a light, and that light is the light of truth. If we, like the magi, wisely choose to follow the light of truth, it will lead us to and back to Christ and the church where he dwells. He is the light of the world, and his light is meant to stream out of us, his body, the church, into the whole world. We are meant to shine that light into the darkness so that our neighbors, and the nations, and kings, can walk a straight path by the light of Christ shining from us.

But we’re spotlights, not floodlights.

If we’re focused downward into the ground, and convinced that the world around us is impenetrably dark, then it will be.

If we, instead, shine that light into the darkness, the darkness will flee, because darkness can never overcome light.

I want to follow the light, focus upon the light, and flash my own little flickering light as I make my way through this present darkness.

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