Epiphany Sunday

If you’re like me, you probably didn’t grow up observing the full 12 days of Christmas, much less Epiphany—the church holiday that will be celebrated on January 6th that marks the conclusion of the Christmas season. For many Christians, the magi’s visit to the baby Jesus (which Epiphany commemorates) is often lumped into our nativity scene instead of being marked as the separate, later event it likely was (scholars tells us Jesus was probably a toddler when the magi arrived). Yet, there is something to be said for making note of this day and what it celebrates—not only the Magi’s epiphany as they understand the meaning of the star and come to worship Jesus as a king, but also the larger epiphany revealed in the Gospel narrative (as today’s scripture text from John 1 attests)—the manifestation of God Incarnate in Jesus the Christ.

As the story of the Magi reminds us, we serve a God of revelation. The problem is that just as “it’s easy for Epiphany to get swallowed up in the return to work and school after the beginning of the new year,” the epiphanies of God among us are also often overlooked or easily missed “coming, as they often do, in the middle of our work week” when we’re too busy to even notice, much less “remember we’ve had one.”

The issue, I think, has to do with do with two things—attention and intention. That is, noticing the work of God around us—the new epiphanies God desires to lead us into—calls for us to not only pay attention, but also to be intentional about creating (as an article* I read this week noted) “practices that keep us grounded” in the epiphanies we experience so that “living in the afterglow” of each one becomes both a “habit” and a “choice that can be made even when the light of illumination has dimmed.” Though the author observes that “Benedictines do this when they choose to welcome every guest as Christ among them,” the truth is, we can too, when we commit to keeping the true Epiphany in view: God Incarnate not only come to be with us and to save us, but also to live within us and through us.

We serve a God of revelation. May this be a year of epiphanies as we meet God among us in unexpected and wildly rich ways. *Quotations from https://www.christiancentury.org/article/faith-matters/making-habit-out-epiphany