Category Archives: Ephiphany

Season of Epiphany

The Church season of Epiphany starts on the day of the Epiphany, January 6, and runs for 8 Sundays, ending with the feast of the Transfiguration. Epiphany means manifestation, or making something apparent. The theme for Epiphany is Light. Light is that by which things are made visible. Light makes us able to see and it determines what we see.

Throughout the Bible God’s people claim that God is the source of light and even that God is the Light itself, not literally but metaphorically. The meaning is this: as with light, how things are with God determines how we experience things. God illumines; God shines and then reality and truth can be seen according to how God’s light shines on it. If God does not illumine and shine truth is never seen. And any truth that is seen is only seen because God shines and illumines it. Without God there is only blindness and darkness. That is why the Psalmist prays, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and guide to my path.” In other words, I am lost in darkness and cannot see any true path without You, God, actively shining for me so I can see how to walk and live in an authentic way that is in harmony with reality.

The day of Epiphany celebrates the magi being led and drawn by a light, a divine star, to the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. The magi are those who neither know nor care about Israel’s God. Their attention is captured by the things of nature, which they study. But those things of nature lead them to the baby Jesus and there they find the truth for which they had been searching. Their search culminates in coming to Israel’s Messiah and offering to him their allegiance.

For Christians this is a momentous event because, now, both God’s people (the Jews) and those who were not God’s people (the Gentiles, the magi) are drawn to the Light of the world, namely, God made human in the Jewish baby, Jesus Christ. It is a great Epiphany, a great “making-seen-event”, that in Jesus, God is the Light of the world by which not only the Jewish people can seek and find the deepest truth, but so can the rest of the world.

The 2014 season of Epiphany focuses our attention on Jesus’ calling of his first disciples and then on his profound teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. His simple but profound teaching shines light, showing us many things we wish would stay hidden, but also showing us divine love, forgiveness and acceptance beyond our imagining. The Light shines in the darkness.

Season of Ephiphany

Epiphany is a celebration of Jesus as the universal savior, the ultimate hope of all the world. Whatever the world truly hopes for, is & will be found in Jesus. Jesus is the universal savior for the universal yearning and need of humankind. Epiphany used to be a feast day (January 6th) as big as Christmas. In the Western church (Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican and other liturgically oriented fellowships) it is marked by the story in Matthew 2: 1-12, of the magi, Gentile astrologers, who from the came from the East, following the star that led them to the baby. Upon seeing Jesus they laid before him their offerings of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

It is an act of staggering proportions that, although the astrologers were not interested in the God of the Jews, they were nevertheless led to worship the Eternal One through Jesus Christ. The point to astrology and the occult is to be in tune with, and if possible, to control the powers of this world. When they offered their gifts to Jesus the magi were submitting to Eternal One’s messiah. They gave up their need to control, offering it to Jesus. In other words, they found in Jesus the answer to their longing and hope.

The season of Epiphany lasts through February 12th this year. The church gets to celebrate the joyful reality that Jesus shines forth from the church as the savior of all. Jesus shines forth not because we are splendid, compelling examples of love, mercy or justice ( we are not), nor because of our single-minded, unambiguous witness (we don’t have one). Jesus shines forth as the savior of all because in the church the world can see God calling sinners to forgiveness, the hopeless to hope, the loveless to love and the hungry to nourishment. It is our privilege to proclaim and live out the reality that God has acted in a decisive way, drawing every type of person to Jesus, the universal savior for the universal yearning and need of humankind.