By Brett Younger
When I was growing up Baptist, the biggest church days were Mother's Day, Easter, and G.A. Coronation (imagine a royal wedding where Jesus is mentioned a lot). Epiphany was not on the list. (I remember thinking "Epiphany" sounded like an all-girl soft rock band.)
I have grown in my appreciation of Epiphany. On January 6, we celebrate the day on which the Magi, following the light of the star, arrived in Bethlehem, bowing in worship before the child who is light for all. On Sunday, we will come to church because, like the wise men, we long for something beyond the familiar.
Because I'm a minister every once in a while someone volunteers to tell me what it's like in the "real world"-as though I spend every day on Fantasy Island. When people talk about the real world they usually mean life spent without thoughts beyond the ordinary, without reference to the stars that shine in the distance.
Don Quixote is an eccentric romantic in pursuit of his dreams in The Man of la Mancha. Everyone thinks he's mad, because he doesn't live in the "real world." One realist criticizes him saying, "A man must come to terms with life as it is."
Quixote responds, "When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams-this may be madness. To seek treasure where there is only trash. Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be."
Do you remember Don Quixote's theme song, The Impossible Dream?
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong,
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star.
Christians are idealistic, eccentric romantics in pursuit of God's dreams. The followers of Jesus don't follow the rules of the "real world." They don't give in to practicality, but hold on to the hopes we see in Jesus. God calls us to dream impossible dreams, fight unbeatable foes, bear unbearable sorrows, run where the brave dare not go, right unrightable wrongs, love pure and chaste, and try when our arms are weary to reach unreachable stars.
Is the one who follows the star the fool? Or is it the many who remain in the darkness? Worship is for those who follow the star and seek God's gracious light.