The Season of Epiphany

On January 6, the church enters a new season of the liturgical calendar.  The colors at the front of the church change from white to green to signify the season of Epiphany.

When we say, “I’ve had an epiphany!” we mean that suddenly we see something profound that changes everything.  Something is shown or revealed to us that we were missing.  During the season of Epiphany, the church has traditionally focused upon events in Jesus’ life that show us his identity as our Savior and Lord.  According to the most ancient traditions, Epiphany begins with reflections on the visit of the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12), which shows his royalty and mission to all nations, the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:32-34), which shows him to be the beloved Son of God and promised Redeemer King, and the marriage feast at Cana (John 2:1-12), which shows his power to bring the promised age of purification by his blood and new abundance in God’s renewed creation.

The Epiphany theme of seeing/showing means two things for us.  First, we have the chance to see Jesus for who he is.  He is our protecting and defending King, the Savior for all peoples, the beloved Son of God who makes us beloved children of God, the Spirit-anointed Christ who also gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit, the host of the great banquet to which we are invited, and.  All we long for and all we strive for is found in him if we will have eyes to see.

Second, we have the calling to show Jesus to others.  In fact, it is in seeing Jesus for who he is that we become able to show Jesus to others. When we see we are saved by his grace and not our own righteousness, we are able show him through lives of humility rather than pride.  When we see all he has done to meet our needs, we are able to show him by caring for others’ needs.  When we see how he has welcomed us in, we are able to show him through our hospitality.  When we see how we have been forgiven, we are able to show him by forgiving.  When we see how richly Jesus has loved us, then we will be able to show Jesus by loving others.

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