• Epiphany

    Posted Jan 11th, 2018 By in Pastor Brian's Blog, Why We Do What We Do With | Comments Off on Epiphany

    Epiphany: 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.

    The above definition is usually the one we are using when we speak of something being an epiphany. A moment of clarity breaks in. Insight and perception is found in an otherwise difficult situation. Just a couple of weeks ago I said to my wife: “I think I had an epiphany” speaking of a situation we had been trying to navigate.

    The above definition is from dictionary.com and it is the third of four given. The first on the list is more distinctly Christian.

    Epiphany: a Christian festival, observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day.

    Epiphany is the celebration of the last day of Christmas. Since Christmas—unlike Easter—is an immovable feast day and thus always celebrated on the same day—December 25th—therefore Epiphany is also a fixed day and is always celebrated on January 6th. It is the time between Christmas and Lent. The color of this season is green again and symbolized that we have moved from preparation—Advent—through celebration—the 12 days of Christmas—into a time of growth. Now it’s time to put our faith into practice. Now is the time to take seriously the claims made of Christ during Christmas. Now is the time to read and pray and give.

    I have a friend who is moving out of the state and he asked me to look at the website of a church he is considering attending when he lands in his new home. On that church’s website there is a link to the bulletin and the most recent bulletin says this about Epiphany:

    When we use the word epiphany we usually mean an experience when we suddenly ‘get’ or ‘see’ something. This is what the Season of Epiphany (6 January-22 February) is all about. It is a sudden aha! moment of understanding who Christ is, what he has done, and how we experience God’s glorious grace through him.

    Now is the time to take seriously the claims made of Christ during Christmas.

    During Epiphany this year, remember these words from John’s Gospel: “I have written these things so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” Some of us are investigating Jesus for the first time. For others, Jesus has been part of our lives for years. Regardless of your history with him, Epiphany is a perfect time to discover who Jesus is, draw near to him, and experience true life through him.

    May this Epiphany be just that for us individually and corporately as we grow in grace and love and mercy and generosity; as we come to discover Jesus and all that he means for us more and more and more deeply. May we come to cherish God’s word in our individual and corporate readings; may we come to know the grace of Christ as we grow in and devote ourselves to individual and corporate prayers; and may we come to thrive and love the corporate gatherings of worship we are provided.

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    Pastor of New Life La Mesa Presbyterian Church in San Diego, CA.

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