What could be more commonplace and yet phenomenal than the birth of a child? New life into the world is certainly cause for joy. All of the possibilities that lay ahead are endless and outweigh any thoughts of struggles and strife. Only hopes and dreams are ordered up and as each course of life is served we quickly realize that our hopes and dreams have to make room for theirs. Yet, the life each of us is given is meant to be savored and seasoned by God’s spirit within. Only then are we able to see the epiphany, a sudden intuitive perception of an alternate reality, a moment of self-actualization, a realization of one’s fullest capacities in Christ meant for those who believe. We realize that from the very beginning life was always a gift to be used for God’s glory. Even today, through the joys, the struggle, the strife and ultimately love, reconciliation and redemption, wisdom still seeks the Gift.
We are fools for the sake of Christ, but you are wise in Christ. 1 Corinthians 4:8-20 “Hey Mom – I had an Epiphany!” These are the words heard in a phone call from my son during his first year away at college. I don’t quite remember the exact event, but I do remember thinking how proud I was that he had come to some realization concerning school. We worked really hard at getting him to understand the importance of his education. He had taken so much for granted, not completely because he never wanted for anything but also out of immaturity. Out on his own, as I heard his excitement about a decision surrounding school indicated real growth on his part as our love, work and sacrifice begins to bear fruit. The Corinthians had it all including the love of God but in their spiritual immaturity, they behaved badly, taking advantage of God’s forgiveness, grace and mercy. So Paul writes to admonish and plead for their maturity in Christ. Having experienced the season of Epiphany, as children of God, Lent now calls us in to that same growth and maturity in Christ who sacrificed for us.
…ahead of them, went the star that they (Magi) had seen in the east… Matthew 2:1-12 Truth revealed is the moment at which some event or action appears in its true form or nature. Epiphany is a truth revealed. It is something that we now understand, an enlightenment or revelation, which was once hidden or unclear. The very moment that truth is revealed we have the freedom to make a choice, or to move in a direction we may have previously thought was not possible. The light of the star that the Magi followed is the same light that we follow today, the one that leads to unconditional love and hope Jesus Christ. The question we have to ask of our selves is can we submit to and live out this epiphany? Now that the manifestation of Christ is revealed in us, the freedom to choose is ours. Arise and shine, for your light has come (Isaiah 60:1-6,9).
An experience of sudden and striking realization – a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.
What is more commonplace than the birth of a child? Epiphany officially closes the season of Christmas and celebrates the visit of the Wise men from the East and the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles.
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising,* and have come to pay him homage.’ …they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped,* they were overwhelmed with joy. Matthew 2:1-10
Truth revealed is the moment at which some event or action appears in its true form or nature. Epiphany is a truth revealed. It is something that we now understand, an enlightenment or revelation, which was once hidden or unclear. Epiphanies in relationships of any kind have one thing in common: freedom. The very moment that truth is revealed we have the freedom to make a choice, or to move in a direction we may have previously thought was not possible, physically and/or spiritually. Epiphanies give us the opportunity to be. We have many epiphanies in our relationships with one another, some small, others very significant. Yet, the revelation of Christ to the gentiles via Magi from the east is an epiphany of a different kind. While it still offers us the same freedom it adds the crucial element of unconditional love, something we don’t fully accept until we are ready to fully submit to it and subsequently work to create an environment within our selves to give it in return. The light that the Magi followed is the same light that we follow today, the one that leads to unconditional love given in the gift of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The question we have to ask of our selves is can we submit to and live out this epiphany or do we go back and submit to and live according to the “Herods” of the world. Now that the manifestation of Christ is revealed, the freedom to choose is ours. Arise and shine, for your light has come.