Epiphany: God Appearing – People Taking Notice
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you! Isaiah 60:1
Today, in the rhythm of the church year, we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany—that is, the manifestation of God in earthly form. Following the journey of the Magi, foreign astrologers who undertook a journey of discovery prompted by the rising of a mysterious star, Epiphany reminds us that God’s presence shines in unexpected places and in unexpected ways among ordinary people in ordinary settings.
“The fact that Mary and Joseph were an ordinary young couple making the best of a tough situation, reminds us that the light of God’s presence can shine in the midst of our own dark nights.
The fact that ordinary shepherds were among the first witnesses of the greatest story ever told, encourages us to be awake and alert to the good news of Christ’s presence in the wilderness places of our own lives.
The fact that the Magi were Gentiles—foreigners!—reminds us that even though Jesus was the King of the Jews, he was born as a Savior for all humankind, not just those who were specially chosen. Their presence at the manger represents Christ as Light to the whole world!
And the fact that so much of what took place in the Christmas story was guided through dreams and unusual signs in the sky reminds us that God reveals God’s self to us in mysterious ways, and we’d best be paying attention (Ruth Haley Barton).”
Epiphany is all about noticing that God is indeed here. God is part of our lives and that the best response we can have is to devote our hearts and minds to discovering what God is doing.
When the song of the angels is stilled
when the star in the sky is gone
when the kings and princes are home
when the shepherds are back with their flocks
the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost
to heal the broken
to feed the hungry
to release the prisoner
to rebuild the nations
to bring peace among the people
to make music in the heart.