Christmas Day may have come and gone for 2021, but technically Christmas isn’t over until January 6 when Christians around the world celebrate Epiphany.
The Greek word meaning “to reveal” is the origin of “epiphany” and in the Western church, Epiphany celebrates when the Magi visit baby Jesus, recorded in Matthew 2:1-12. Their visit is generally viewed as revealing that Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, came also for the salvation of Gentiles. Now, that is worth continuing to celebrate!
While the first definition of epiphany in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is about the festival celebrated in the church on January 6, epiphany is also defined as:
1. a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something
2. an intuitive grasp of reality through something (such as an event) usually simple and striking
3. an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure
This is where we get our phrase “I had an epiphany” when something suddenly becomes clear to us, when we suddenly realize something.
Just as God revealed Himself through the incarnation of His son, He continues to reveal Himself to us today, allowing us to experience “epiphanies” of Him throughout the year.
As we prepare to celebrate Epiphany, I encourage you to read the familiar story of the Magi’s visit in Matthew 2:1-12.
What might God want to reveal to you?
Is there an “epiphany “ He wants you to see?
How might you turn it into prayer?
At our house, one of our holiday traditions is to leave our outdoor Christmas lights on until January 6. To be honest, it's partly because we are always sad to take down Christmas decorations. Yet, it also continues to be a daily reminder that Christmas continues because of the Light that God sent into the world through His Son, Jesus.
Leaving our lights on reminds us that Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12) and He came that we might have a rich and satisfying life (John 10:10).
I love traditions, but I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. However, I am one for entering a new year with intention.
I invite you to join me in 2022 and to be intentional to watch for and notice “epiphany experiences”. Times where God breaks through and reveals Himself. Places where He shines His light into darkness.
I invite you to ask the following questions with me:
Where do I see the Holy Spirit at work?
In my life?
In the life of others?
In the life of ECC?
God promises when we seek Him we will find Him when we seek Him with all of our heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
So while it is true that Christmas Day has passed and the current Christmas season will soon be over, the gifts of Christmas and Christ coming are available always. I look forward to hearing what He reveals as we continue to seek Him together in 2022.