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.