Tuesday, January 3, 2012
I was looking over my calendar for this first week in the new year and noticed that Epiphany is coming up this Friday, January 6th. This is one of those annual events that I know of but rarely stop to think about. Growing up in the Roman Catholic tradition, I knew this date somewhat well as a boy. I had served as an altar boy from the time of my first communion (age 7) up through my teenage/high school years and had served a few Epiphanies during those years. Maybe it just became another ritual that we observed once a year, like the numerous holy days that popped up each year; a mass, communion, liturgy, prayers, hymns, sit-kneel-stand, readings from the Psalms and Gospel, waving of the incense, etc. All of these things, maybe not in the exact order they occur(ed) in these observances, became plain to me after awhile; common, ordinary, things that we just did because that's what we were taught; religion, tradition, culture, dogma.
Today, January 3, 2012, as I came upon this rememberance of Epiphany on my calendar (Friday, 1/6/2012), I was struck with a renewed sense of importance....not because it is some ritual that I used to observe or should observe, but because of what it really means. Check out the definition below. What ideas or images come to mind?
For me it is the coming of our Savior and the visit of the Magi...the kings/wise men who came see the Christ-child and brought gifts of gold, and expensive spices and incense which were gifts given to kings and princes.
In the definition given below, there are enough ideas and images to stir up a month of sermons.But more importantly, to impart the significance of the coming of Christ; not just a ritual to observe, but to bring us into relationship with the living, triune God; to repair and restore what was lost through Adam. Romans 5:12-21
So give it some thought and let me know what you think, and you too can experience Epiphany in your daily life
noun, plural -nies.
( initial capital letter ) a Christian festival, observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to thegentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day.
an appearance or manifestation, especially of a deity.
a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality oressential meaning of something, usually initiated by somesimple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.
a literary work or section of a work presenting, usuallysymbolically, such a moment of revelation and insight.