Everyday Epiphanies

John Milton wrote: “Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” Recently President Neil Alexander of the United Methodist Publishing House (whose Board I am privileged to serve on) opened a speech entitled “Embracing Change” with those words. They have stayed with me as I move around the Conference. I am deeply thankful as I take in so many incredible ministries happening through the members and churches of the Central Texas Conference. In a host of ways, large and small, seen and unseen, we are together living as the body of Christ, the hands and feet of Christ in the world. I am conscious that bad news crowds out the good. The current Republican presidential primary race is not only exhibit A but actively exacerbates the process. I hardly mean this as a critique of one party. If we were engaged in a Democratic presidential primary race, the same would be true. Rather, in the midst of all this, Milton’s quote calls me back to an awareness of God’s presence. Recently I visited with someone about teaching confirmation and awakening faith in young middle school age kids. It is a holy work with transcendent moments that can easily be missed. Later I had got to investigate our mission outreach to the homeless in two different cities. “Everyday epiphanies” are common place in this grace filled work. Quietly, powerfully, we are living the focus area of ministry with the poor. When I pause, I am in awe of the ministry and work God is doing through the Central Texas Conference, its churches and members. We are surrounded by everyday epiphanies; in gratitude they provoke reverence in me. May we, guided by the Holy Spirit, take time to notice.