Siblings in Christ, Today is Epiphany! The first two definitions in dictionary accurately describe the origination of the meaning of Epiphany as the manifestation or appearance of a deity. In most common experience, this is the day that Christ was revealed to the Gentiles...in other words, Christ as God with us (Emanuel), was made known to all people and not just the Israelites, through the visit of the Magi. Epiphany also marks the end of the Christmas season and lasts until Ash Wednesday when we begin to prepare for Christ’s death and resurrection. Another way that we use the word epiphany in the English language is as “a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience. Yet, I struggle with this definition because often in my life, epiphany has come in experiences while common and regular, are also powerful and transformative. Taylor Swift, one of my FAVORITE singer/songwriters, has a song on her 2020 album Folklore entitled “epiphany.” It’s a striking and moving song about some hard things like war or pandemic, that ends in us seeking some kind of meaning or epiphany. If you haven’t heard the song, I highly recommend listening. It’s haunting, sad, real and full of honor and respect all at the same time. Here’s a link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUnDkI7l9LQ Sometimes God and meaning is revealed to us in the most profound ways...sometimes death, sometimes miracles, and sometimes unexpectedly. And yet, sometimes meaning is revealed in the ordinary...like a baby with a poor mother and father just trying to live a normal life even though they know it won’t be. At Epiphany, God has revealed Christ in a new way. God has done a new thing. And we can do a new thing, too. Letting go of our old ideas and understandings is not easy, but epiphany also changes everything and we must pay attention to our new revelation.
How is God revealing Christ in our world today? What Epiphany may come today? How might Christ be revealed in us so that we can reveal Christ to “the gentiles” of today? We may not have a baby born in a manger, but we do experience Christ in new ways in our own lives. Just as the magi shared their story of encounter with God to those from where they came, we are called to share our own PERSONAL stories of encounter with Christ to those in our own lives. Who knows, but that in sharing our own story, we may also experience Epiphany. Blessings to you in this holy moment!