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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

T'is the Season of...Epiphany

I have been contemplating over the 'after-Christmas' season that seems to drift into a world of resolutions, lifestyle changes, and starting afresh. In the yearly cycle of the church this is the time of the Epiphany. The root of the word comes from the greek word epiphaneia, which literally translates to 'manifestation'. After the Twelve Days of Christmas, on January 6th, the Epiphany is celebrated. Perhaps it is simply my own experience but I find that the Season of the Epiphany is often forgotten in the hubub of the New Year. This is very strange, since it occupies such a large space of time in the church calendar from January 6th to Ash Wednesday. The Epiphany is intrinsically linked to the birth of Christ. As we know, Jesus was born in manger to a young mother but the world had yet to realize what had happened. No one knew that a child was born who who would change the face of humanity forever. The Epiphany celebration the recognition of the world realizing who Jesus is. It is a season of realization. Although I do not know the history behind the New Year's Resolution I can understand it in reference to the season of the Epiphany; realizing something is different. So, what is different? Every year the world spends billions of dollars on gifts during the 'Holiday Season'. Decemeber has become known as a time to give and spend with family. The word Christmas is band in certain references. If this is all happening, where does the Epiphany fit in? How can the Epiphany be if there isn't even a recognition of Christmas. Perhaps this is exactly why the Epiphany is needed. When Jesus was born, the world continued on. On one expected that the birth of a baby would affect them in any way. No one would have given much thought to seeing a pregnant woman riding on a donkey. It wasn't until the arrival of the Wise Men that Jesus' identity became known. Jesus' significance was never the question. The question was, how long would it take the world to realize what had happened? This is the season of Epiphany! Praying for and recognizing the reality of Christ. What will be your New Year's Resolution this year? Mine? I pray that Christ be realized in my heart and yours! The anticipation is over. Christ has arrived but now, we can anticipate Christ's manifestation in greater ways this year!

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