Collect for the Last Sunday
After the Epiphany
Grant to us that we…may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness.
At the end of Epiphany there is a quiz. One question. Short answer. In fact, it’s a yes/no choice, although most of us will try to argue to make it multiple choice.
There have been many clues. Remember the lessons from Advent? The unexpected turn of events at Christmas? John the Baptist’s call to turn back, look harder, listen more closely, prepare better? The mysterious story of the wise persons and the even stranger story of Jesus transformed on the mountain?
And we go through this every year. It’s not like we hadn’t been warned. It’s not as though this were the first time ‘round, like for the disciples who grew up with Jesus as one of them, then had him come calling them to follow him to a totally unforeseeable future.
We’ve had two thousand years of practice. We’ve been through this time after time. There will be no surprises this year—the quiz will cover the same material. And once again, we’ll proved to be slow students, unable to comprehend. At least I know I will!
And maybe we’ll do better next year. We’ll resolve to be better prepared. We’ll promise to stay awake in class and pay attention and practice our lessons at home.
Because there will be a quiz next year, too; and the year after, and the year after. And the question at the end of Epiphany, at the end of the season of discernment, discovery and recognition, will always be the same.
Do you get it?
We prepared during Advent; we heard the stories of the child in the manger; we shivered in the river at Jesus’ baptism; this is the one who has called our name to follow him. This is God’s way of revealing the divine glory—this is God’s way of being God for us and for our salvation.
How will we live it?