Monday, January 08, 2007

Epiphany

I really love the Christian calendar. This has not always been the case. In fact, I used to fight it.

In my years in youth ministry, I had a pastor who was very tied to liturgy and the liturgical calendar. I would ask him why we would do things and he would generally sort of blow me off. I found this irritating and, therefore, had no interest in liturgy whatsoever. I don't think either one of us responded right to the situation. I should have pressed him further and even done some personal research on the liturgical calendar and liturgy in general. He probably could have stopped and explained things to me at least every once in a while. I am convinced that if either of these things would have happened, my love for liturgy would have started growing a long time ago. It fits right in with my love affair with the communion of saints.

All that said, I think "Epiphany" is my favorite liturgical season. I love them all and I long to experience God more fully in each season. But "Epiphany" really stands out for me. Maybe it is because it is almost overlooked by the modern church. We've just come out of Advent and Christmas and we tend to just hold on and wait for Lent and Easter. Most Christians would say our two big days are Christmas and Easter. Few could list what happens in between.

Epiphany is a time of commemoration of the coming of the wise men. Their coming is symbolic of the fact that God came in Jesus Christ to save all people of all nations. Our celebration of Epiphany in the church is our way of looking ahead from this first "light" to the wise men to the mission of the church for the world in light of the birth of Jesus Christ.

We all have a part to play in what I call the "big" Epiphany. That is, the revelation of Jesus Christ to all people of all nations. As we live in this season, I think we should be asking ourselves what our part is in it all. We all have little epiphanies in our lives that are not unlike what happened to the wise men so long ago. They cause us to take notice and take action in our lives. That is what epiphany and epiphanies are all about, really. Where is God asking you to take notice and take action in your own life?

2 comments:

JohnDeere said...

great julie-- how about a little link love for FARMStrong.

Jackson said...

Hey Julie- I notice that you and I both have all the Zodiac sign crap on our profiles. Do you or anyone of your students know how to remove that stuff?