This Sunday, most churches around the world will celebrate Epiphany - the story of the wise men, astrologers, pagans, and scientists in their own right, who read the stars as signs from the natural world to understand human history, and even the will of the gods. The story in the Gospel of Matthew tells us they saw the star in the sky corresponding with the birth of a Jewish King, and decided to follow the star and pay him homage, and bringing him gifts worthy of a king.
I like the epiphany story, and I mention it today because, like GreenFaith, it is an interfaith story.
Like the work of GreenFaith, it is also an eco-theological story. As in the epiphany, together with people of faith and good will, we try to understand the signs of the times in nature to guide our work, and create spaces where people can connect with the wisdom that lives in the natural world. We trust nature is here to help us in our work.
Like GreenFaith, epiphany is also a community and a social justice story, which recognizes the importance of protecting the most vulnerable, and considers the revelations of the spiritual world, the sacred texts, the prophets, the wisdom revealed in nature and even angels in our dreams in order to accomplish it.
Like GreenFaith, epiphany is also a story of interdisciplinary collaboration so the will of God can be done, and Justice and Good can prevail.
In the epiphany story, the wise men, even though they have the wisdom of the stars, cannot find the exact place where the Jewish King has been born without the support of the prophets and with the written word, which was in possession of spiritual leaders - even corrupt spiritual leaders, as seemed to be the case for the writer of Matthew’s gospel.
And the religious leaders themselves, with all their knowledge of Scripture and the message of the prophets, still needed the support of nature brought by the wise men in order to realize that the moment promised and so awaited by the people of Israel had come - even if they weren’t ready to hear it, or had grown comfortable with power.
As we start the new year, may similar stories develop in every action, every campaign and every program we engage with as people of faith. May we let nature and the signs of the times guide us and empower our work. May the wisdom of our traditions provide us with the groundwork, and may good and new relationships develop, so we can accomplish our diverse tasks in collaboration, for the good of our common Home.