In this season of Epiphany our readings remind us that God surprises us. God surprises us by calling us. And how do we hear the voice of God? We hear God's voice through a prophet, a teacher, a friend calling us to change.
When I was about 19 our minister called our family together and asked us if we were willing to do an intervention to try to save the life of my father. He was drinking himself to death. We gathered together as a family and one by one we told dad our fears and our hopes for him.
And then our minister asked if he was ready to go to rehab, to change something deep about the way he had been living his life, seeing his world.
Amazingly my Dad said yes. That was around 1979. As far as I know he never had a drink up to the day he died, February 24, 2011. So much changed for him and for our whole family because of that. I can't describe all the good news that flowed from that epiphany.
We may not realize it is God's voice we are hearing when someone breaks through our daily routines, our patterns, our addictions with the suggestion that we can change, we can do something new, we can be free, we can break lose. But something in us is made to say yes.
In Epiphany, we remember and celebrate the truth that God does surprise us and call us to new life. But the most surprising thing of all is that we sometimes say yes, and we do change, and we follow toward the glorious Kingdom that is at hand, always at hand.