Sometimes, we’re overwhelmed. Sometimes, we’re underwhelmed. Most of the time, we’re simply whelmed. What a great word; “whelmed.” It means to be engulfed, buried, or submerged. It may describe a lot of us these days. Let’s face it, 2024 is going to be a challenging year. This election cycle, not only in the USA, but around the world will chart the course of democracy in many places. Sadly, democracy and the rule of law will be on the ballot here as well.
It is mostly uncertainty that whelms us. What do the economics look like going forward? What will the clown show in Jefferson City dream up in 2024? What do the elections look like? What about our congregation as we look toward a pastoral change? It is enough to engulf us, to bury us, and to submerge us. In short, many of us are whelmed.
Sunday, we celebrate Epiphany, or “manifestation.” It concludes the twelve days of Christmas, marking the first independent verification of who and what Jesus is; the Messiah. Magi come from the east, following an astronomical sign. It leads them to a certain home in Bethlehem, where, according to the NRSV translation of Matthew 2, the Magi are not simply whelmed; they are overwhelmed. Their joy at seeing and paying homage to Jesus literally is over the top. They are overwhelmed.
What if, just for one hour on Sunday, we could put away our garden variety whelming and simply be overwhelmed with Joy as we consider that Jesus is born? Could that overwhelming displace some of our whelming? If we were submerged in joy, would it be more difficult for other things to submerge (whelm) us?
Sunday, we will witness the first witnesses from afar who come to Jesus. We will discover that the Christ event is not simply a renewal movement in Judaism, but God’s plan for the redemption of planet earth.
Then, as a sign of our being overwhelmed, we will gather to celebrate the Lord’s Supper for the first time in 2024. All in all, it will be an overwhelming Sunday.
Karen Tutak will begin a study on prayer during our Faith Enrichment hour.
See you Sunday,