Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Happy Epiphany to you all! The Feast of the Epiphany, celebrated January 6, was originally the day when Christians celebrated the birth of Jesus. In fact, they celebrated three big events all in one day: Jesus’ birth, his baptism, and the miracle of turning water into wine. Throughout the years, the observances of these events were separated.
With all the celebrations and ceremony surrounding Christmas, both inside the church and in the wider society, Epiphany is often an afterthought. Originally, though, Epiphany was the more important of the two occasions.
Epiphany celebrates the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles, specifically in the Magi. When the Magi came through Jerusalem looking for the king that had been revealed to them in the stars, the religious scholars consulted the sacred texts and could not believe that such an event had taken place. They were so concerned their expectations of religion, that they could not see the flesh and blood God in front of them.
We might ask ourselves whether we too are sometimes blind to the ways that God is being revealed. Do we get caught up in what we expect of God and miss the unexpected? Do we get so busy in our mundane, everyday lives that we do not notice God’s inbreaking among us?
This Epiphany, I want us to challenge ourselves to be more open and attuned to where God might be. It might not be the places we are used to finding or expecting God. This Epiphany, at the end of every day, or the end of every week, try to take a few minutes to reflect: Where did you encounter the divine? Was it in another person or a relationship? Perhaps through an unexpected event or opportunity?
It is my hope that this exercise will become more than a simple exercise. That we will be more willing to see God at work in our lives. That we will be more open to where God might be speaking to us and calling us. I pray that this lasts the whole of the year, not just the season of Epiphany.
A most happy and blessed Epiphany to you all,