written by ClayOla Gitane
On my drive into town, I stop at the stop sign Sequim Bay Road, and look to my left to see if it is clear to turn—and see the mountains in all their light and beauty. This scene greets me day after day, and the view is never quite the same. Each time it is unique and wonderful, and I am filled with awe. And each time my heart is lifted towards God.
Early this morning, I read an essay posted on Facebook by a friend whose only son died almost five years ago. It seems like yesterday—for him, it is yesterday, as he wakes each morning to a new reality of another day without his son. His grief is deep and long. My heart cried out to God, and I felt the tears clog my throat—for him, for the life lost, for all of us who miss this young man.
These are two extremes, between which lie all the ways that God is revealed in our lives. At work, with friends, doing various kinds of labor, in nature, in the deep sorrows and joys of our lives—in each one God reveals himself to us. We have only to stop for a moment and raise our heads, to open our hearts to this moment, to see his revelation. I am reminded of a sermon given by my friend, The Rev. Amy Haynie, regarding the wedding at Cana where Jesus turned water into wine. She reminds us of a quote from St. Augustine:
“Our Lord’s miracle of turning water into wine comes as no surprise to those who know it is God who did it. At the wedding that day he made wine in the six water pots that had been filled with water; but he does the same thing every year with the vines… only that does not amaze us, because it happens every year.”
Mtr. Amy goes on to say, “Every year, rain gets turned into grapes, which get turned into wine. A sign of God’s glory—right in front of us.”
In this season of Epiphany, let us look for the sacred that happens every day. God’s abundant and extravagant love is on display all the time. I’ll give you a few examples of looking for the sacred in the ordinary, and I hope you will think of 100 more this week…
- A married couple truly laughing and communicating after so many years – living into the sacrament of marriage in their everyday life
- The smell of a newborn baby’s head right after bath time – so fresh to this world
- Glancing up from your morning coffee and devotional to see the birds take flight by simply flapping their wings
- Seeing those among us begin to recover and regain strength after so many prayers and so much time
- Holding the hand of another as they breathe their last breath in this world
I offer up those to you – I pray that you will think of others. The beauty and holiness of these mundane, ordinary things could escape us in the day-to-day existence we live; let us dare to look for the extraordinary – to live in extravagance – to seek the Holy and Sacred…
Watch this week for the water becoming wine all around you. Feel inside yourselves the way God has sanctified you, transforming your heart with his extravagant generosity. Tell those who do not yet believe… point out God’s abundant and extravagant love… and witness the ordinary becoming sacred as God works among us.” May this season of Epiphany reveal God in all his glory to you!
The Rev. ClayOla Gitane is the rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Sequim, WA. She is also a regular contributor to the monthly podcast, From All Points, on the Episcopal Cafe.