The Epiphany of Christ
We’ve entered a new season in the Christian year: Epiphany! Epiphany celebrates the ways Jesus was made known to people, as if they received an “epiphany!” We know that word. We use it to describe those glimmering moments when something dawns on us, something becomes clear or makes sense. It seems that the ancient disciples were often confused about Jesus, misunderstanding his mission, teachings, and the relationship they were to experience with God the Father. However, there were moments of clarity along the way when the veil became thin and Jesus became luminous, transparent, clear in their minds and hearts and they named him as their Lord and followed him. In Epiphany, we look for glimmerings of God in the face of Jesus Christ; we discover ways to embrace and dwell with the Light we waited for in Advent and received at Christmas. Epiphany is a season when Christ’s followers intentionally ask for ever deepening clarity to see Jesus and intend whole-hearted followership.
The Season of Epiphany reminds me of the art medium of watercolors: the opaque becomes transparent with the addition of water. Watercolors are valued for their fluidity, transparency and luminosity. We begin Epiphany this year with the narrative of Jesus’ baptism in the river Jordan. Water mingles with the Spirit’s decent and the voice of the Father makes clear the luminous beauty and identity of Jesus, the Beloved Son of God. We’ll end the season with a similar epiphany as the heavenly clouds part and we again hear the Father’s voice boom with pronouncement and invitation: This is my Son, whom I love…Listen to him!
We’ve shaped the seasonal liturgy around the Psalms and a breath prayer: Turn our hearts to your Word…and we’ll wonder together what might become clear, even luminous, in our own lives as we ask, seek and desire to see Jesus. We’ll embrace the ancient prayer found in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians for ourselves as we ask:
…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that we may know him better. We pray that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened in order that we may know the hope to which he has called us, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.