OC Sunrise2 Dec 13

Epiphany is not very well known, especially in non-liturgical churches. But it was kind of a big deal in the ancient church.  The name comes from the Koine Greek word epiphaneia, meaning  “revealing” , “manifestation”, or “striking appearance.”

Epiphany starts January 6 and lasts until Ash Wednesday (March 5). This is one of the liturgical seasons of the church year, the others being Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost.

In the early church the feast of Epiphany originally celebrated the birth of Christ. However, after the birth of Christ was placed on December 25 to replace the pagan feast of the birth of the sun, Epiphany was designated as the event that manifested Jesus as the Son of God, the Savior of the world.

In the East, Epiphany was appointed as the day to celebrate the baptism of Jesus. However, in the West, Epiphany became the day to celebrate the manifestation of Jesus through three great events: the visit of the Magi, the baptism of Jesus, and the marriage feast of Cana.

Webber, Robert E. (2004-10-01). Ancient-Future Time (Ancient-Future): Forming Spirituality through the Christian Year (Kindle Locations 1202-1209). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

So we’ve just celebrated Christmas. We anticipated the arrival of Emmanuel, God with us, during the 24 days of Advent. We visited and rested and shopped during the Days of Christmas,. We got renewed energy and maybe even new hope during New Years.

After all the supposed warm fuzzies of Christmas parties, TV specials, concerts and special church services and such,  you may feel like, blah – is that all there is?

That has certainly been true for me.

I used to feel kind of let down after Christmas. The party was over, there was nothing to look forward to. I guess that’s why they call it the post holiday blues. (Did you get I was riffing on the title of the Elton John song?)

Then I went to IWS (The Institute for Worship Studies)   in the early days of January ’05 and they had an Anglican Epiphany service. The spirit of joy and the hope of Christmas were not forgotten, but were given expression to continue!

Epiphany brings the next chapter of God’s story into the center of our attention.

Today Epiphany brings us to the end of the Christmas cycle, completing the great rhythm of expectation and fulfillment that defines this period of time. It also points to the beginning of Christ’s manifestation to the world, a ministry that not only happened in the first century but happens now within the church and within us as we travel through the unfolding of the paschal mystery of the liturgical year.
Robert E.Webber,  Ancient-Future Time

Epiphany commemorates the next chapter in the story of Christ. We embrace the arrival of Jesus as the light of the world.

God is into calendar. By paying attention to the seasons of the  Christian year, we can more intentionally organize our personal spirituality;  and in a practical way, we can experience a deeper awareness of the story of God in our everyday lives.

I’m observing Epiphany this year to grow in the Lord, so He can transform me. The more light we pour into our spirits, the more the darkness is driven out. I need that. Maybe you do too.

During this Epiphany season I’ll be exploring the scriptures of the season with an emphasis on “Light”,  and commenting as the Holy Spirit inspires.

I’d love for you to join me on the journey!

Question: Have you observed the season of Epiphany? How?