The Pastor’s Pen
Have you ever thought about Epiphany? Yeah, me neither. Most of us at this time are just getting over the Christmas season. Looking back, we may have had great memories of family gatherings, wonderful worship experiences, and of course the joy of Christmas Day with gifts and food. As the season of Christmas comes to an end, we find ourselves taking a much-needed break before our lives become busy with the Easter season. Epiphany gets left behind and largely forgotten. Why? Because it isn’t as fun as Christmas nor seen as important as Easter. In the early church, these three seasons (Christmas-Epiphany-Easter) were celebrated as a seamless whole followed by Pentecost and Kingdomtide. We don’t appreciate this because we don’t live communal lives whose identity is wedded to the church calendar as folks did in the olden days.
However, let’s get back to Epiphany. It starts with the Magi who follow a star to see the Christ child. The last Sunday of Epiphany is Transfiguration Sunday when Jesus is illuminated before the disciples. Interestingly, the last day of Epiphany is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Why is all this history important? Because it focuses our attention on the most important theological theme in Christianity: God was in Christ. Christ is the light of God’s love in this world of darkness, sin, and death.
History and theology are interesting but let’s get personal. As we move into the next year how are you celebrating the gift of Jesus? How do you understand Christ as the light which has come into the world? Of your new year’s resolutions, which honor the goal of becoming more Christlike that you may reflect God’s love and peace to yourself and others? As we move into the new year let us not lose sight of this beautiful moment in the church year. May we celebrate the epiphany/manifestation of God in Christ that we might grow to become like Christ.