Epiphany is upon us!
Epiphany concludes the celebration of Christmas, and initiates the further celebration of God breaking into the world to live among us and to bring us salvation. From now until March 2, which is the last Sunday before Lent, we will reference each Sunday based on January 6, the “Epiphany of the Lord!”
I include some background from The Book of Common Worship:
- The word “epiphany” (from the Greek epiphaneia or theophaneia) means “appearance” or “manifestation” of God, and has roots in the word for sunrise or dawn. In ancient times, an epiphany meant either a visible manifestation of a god or the solemn visit of a ruler venerated as a god.
- For Christians, Christmas marks the coming of God to us; Epiphany celebrates the appearance of the Lord in the midst of humanity. The Christmas stories of the birth of Immanuel declare the divine entry; Epiphany extols the revelation of God to the world in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.
- In our celebrations of Christmas and Epiphany we rejoice in the dawning and the arising of Light in darkness. … Epiphany not only discloses the Savior to the world but also calls the world to show forth Christ, to be witnesses to God’s true Light. The timeless mystery of the incarnation, God in flesh, leads us forth to show and tell of Christ as God’s gift of grace and salvation for all persons. Some call this ongoing epiphany the work of Christmas.
You may remember that on the First Sunday of Advent, we began an opportunity in worship to “Experience the Holy.” As each Sunday progressed, we received Holy Communion, cleansed our hearts through confession, remembered life supporting scripture, offered intercessory prayer for loved ones, and remembered our baptism into the love of Jesus’ holy family. The purpose of these experiences was to recognize that the light certainly shines around us, but also from within each and every one of God’s children. I hope all have truly experienced Christmas and Epiphany in a very personal way, and know that you continue to reveal the “Good News” that Jesus calls us to share with the world!
Grace and Peace,