We celebrated the Epiphany this Sunday. The feast of Epiphany was Saturday, January 6, but we observed this day as the completion of our Christmas time of worship. It was a blessing this day, as it was also our Communion Sunday. To celebrate the arrival of our savior, Jesus the babe in Bethlehem and remember the cost of Jesus the Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for all of humanity was a profound experience. That salvation was being remembered through the sharing in this sacred meal together.
We celebrated and remembered the reason for Christmas. Christmas season considers what it means for us to believe that God has come to us in great humility as a child who saves the whole world. By the time the end of the Christmas season arrives on the 12th day, we have moved on. The stores have put away the Christmas items and replaced them with Valentine’s Day and spring (Easter) items. For us, this Christmas is now a memory. Christ was born, the presents were given, and exchanges have been made. What is there left to say?
Epiphany answers that question. It celebrates the arrival of the wise men from the East. They have come to see the King and worship him. Epiphany means ” a moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way” (Merriam-Webster.com). Epiphany is a reminder to us that God comes to us among the lowest of the low with no kingly adornments or privileges. Jesus is born among the animals in a manger that has no provisions other than that for the animals. From this humble beginning, we have born to us a King of Kings!
To live out this season, we must ask ourselves how we can participate in the great work of sharing the news of the Jesus to the world. This word for us is the great epiphany of God’s gifts of wonder, love, and forgiveness. We go forth as witnesses to the light that shines brightly in our midst. At this time of the year, the words – God is with us and in us – become the reality of our world intersecting with the Holy. We can encounter God in ordinary life as much as in these times of blessings and places that we hold dear to our hearts. We have been waiting for an epiphany. We have been waiting to be inspired. The epiphany that we celebrate on January 6th is exactly what we have been waiting for. This is the beginning of the Magi’s revelation. This is the time that leads to Jesus Baptism and a time for us to begin our journey toward Christ’s ultimate gift for all of humanity. This is a time of Magi, gifts, shepherds, and angels that come in unexpected places. They also come in unexpected people as we see the light of Christ shining through others.
Will you be the one who shines so others can see a new light forming that could be the light of Christ in us? Each day can be a new awakening, a new beginning, and a new chance to love. What do we do to comfort those who are without, those who are hungry, homeless, without adequate clothing? How do we respond to the love that has been given to us? Do we share not only the good news of Jesus’ birth but, also the things that we can to lighten another’s burden?
This Star! This guiding star! Does it still guide you? When you are lost and cannot find your way, when you are alone, when you are losing hope – these are the times to look upward, to search for the guiding light to bring you home. Come home to the loving arms of Jesus. Nothing can keep you from the love that God has to bestow upon you. When you have found this ever-searching light, then you are able to share and bring others to this light, also.
Try to keep this Christmas miracle in your heart all year long! In This new year, we will encounter new opportunities for learning, witnessing, and serving others. May we find joy, inner peace, and satisfaction in the reassurance that God is with us. May we be encouraged to share this great news.