My sermon will begin in a moment. Oh wait, that’s my cue. I can sincerely assure you that I’ll take up only a moment of your time.
What a curious yet unpredictably and mysterious word. Moment. My dad ran a solo credit union, and his sign on the door at Noontime read, “Back in a moment.” Boy, did he have nice lunches. The car salesman says about your car price offer, “I’ll be back in a moment; I need to check with my manager.” You sit there looking at your watch as though a moment has time allotted to it.
How many of those passing measures of time contain no measurement? The nurse says, “The doctor will be with you in a moment,” as all of us continue to impatiently wait. Next to you on a table is the sign that reads, “If your appointment is later than fifteen minutes, please see the receptionist,” as though she can hurry things along.
Thiers? The Blessed Mother of Jesus had her non-timed moments. Pregnant and riding a donkey to Bethlehem? Sidesaddle. Anybody? Losing God’s only begotten Son for three days or thereabouts? “One Call, That’s All,” anyone? Then there are the severe moments in her life. Watching her Son slowly emerge as the messiah he is called to be.
Ours? Your wedding or my ordination? Your firstborn or my feeble first sermon? Ours? Losing a child to death or the slow death of addiction. Signing divorce papers. Ours? Becoming a parent to our parents in their aging years. (Just try that sometime!)
Thiers? There would be Mary’s wonderings if her Son’s mission was the angel’s message to her. Mary and Jesus watchfully wait for Joseph’s last breath, which is now called the “Happy Death.”
Ours? Family gatherings and gossiping about those who aren’t there. A significant promotion and a larger paycheck to lower your monthly mortgage. A child’s college acceptance letter or receiving a letter in her favorite sport.
Theirs? Mary’s vigil witnessing her Son dying for doing nothing he was accused of. And then holding him for a forever scene that offers us balm, comfort, and solace for any of our tragedies, setbacks, or disappointments.
This Epiphany feast is Mary and Joseph’s validation that light in our dank, darknesses brought the world to live and see the light in the damp darkness of an animal’s stable. Memorable moments. A moment contains no time because it is timeless. Unforgettably ours because of our biblical models.
The moments of all of our lives. What is remembered and endured? There are no magical steps for a moment to recur. There are no five steps or quick solutions. Pfizer hasn’t created a pill for reliving moments. Happy times are easily retrievable, but those flee away as quickly as they appear. Mistakes promise us there’ll not be a second one. Regrets are growing cancers as it spreads. The only cure for cancerous regrets is a firm resolve to keep moving on as best we can.
The light of Christ. The morning of our lives. The light we can witness and share with others. Those are the cherishable moments of our lives. A light never to be extinguished. Because that light continues to light our lives right now. And you know by the time I say, “Now,” a new now began.
The Creed will soon begin. But first, permit me a moment to get from here to over there.