In recent weeks, I’ve been asked countless times by residents and staff, “When do you think this is all going to end?” This question is asked from a place of weariness and expectation.
We have grown weary in the wait for life to go back to some kind of “normal.” Eating Christmas dinner alone was more than enough alone time. We want to be held, hugged, and kissed by our friends, loved ones, and families. So, we ask, “When will this all end?”
Yet, as we enter 2021, we also are expecting great things. A vaccine was announced in December and it has now begun being distributed around the country. We wait eagerly, wondering when will begin to see the difference in the number of covid cases. We ask, “When will this all end?”
I’m writing this on Wednesday, January 6th, which is the Feast of Epiphany in the Christian tradition. A holy day in the Christian calendar that marks the time when the revelation of Jesus Christ began to be made known to the world. It began with the Magi (commonly known as the Wise men), who came from the East to bring gifts to Jesus. They had been waiting for this moment for years and finally their expectations were becoming a reality.
The Gospel according to Matthew reads, “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
Epiphany means revelation. That day in Bethlehem, the light of Jesus was revealed to the Magi. They found the hope and meaning they had been looking for their entire lives.
However, this Epiphany, none of us are looking at the stars. Instead, we are glued to our televisions in disbelief, as the Capitol building is stormed into and our elected officials are running for their lives. Again, we ask, “when is all this going to end?”
In 2021, we are looking for answers about our future. We are longing for a year that looks nothing like 2020. We need an epiphany, a revelation, reminding us we can have hope in the chaos.
So as we enter this new year, I offer this well-known prayer from St. Francis of Assisi, which says:
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grand that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Peace be upon you,
Chaplain Travis Jamieson
 Matthew 2:10-11