Greg's Weekly Word: "epiphany"
Epiphany. It sounds like a good idea...
Epiphany has come to mean a sudden moment of inspiration (i.e. a good idea), or some kind of revelation. *Picture a lightbulb popping up above a cartoon character's head.* But the Greek word epiphaneia means "to cause to appear to" or "to bring light upon." And in my experience, that rarely (if ever!) happens like flipping the switch to turn on a lightbulb.
Tomorrow, January 6th, is the Day of Epiphany - a feast day in the church, celebrating the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles in the visitation of the magi. Which is certainly a lightbulb moment in our faith. But there is also an entire season of Epiphany, lasting long after the wise men return home.
For the next six weeks, the Church will turn our attention to the innumerable ways God is revealed. Not only through the clearest and most compelling revelation of the Word made flesh, but the myriad of ways God is embodied in our world. Even in us. Because anytime someone or something causes the presence of God to appear to us... anytime someone or something brings light to the purposes of God (or light and life and love to what is dim or dying or despairing)... anytime this happens, it is an epiphany.
The author Roald Dahl wrote,
Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.
God's presence in our lives and God's work in our world is not magical, but we must "watch with glittering eyes" to find it in the most unlikely places - in a child wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger; in welcoming a stranger, or feeding a hungry person, or caring for the vulnerable, or lifting up the lowly and oppressed; in simple acts of mercy and kindness... in the joy of a child playing, or the gratitude of each breath we take... in the peace of the still morning air, or the hope of a sunrise... in the beauty of the mountains, or the love of a friend.
God's presence and activity rarely appears suddenly, like a lightbulb. And it isn't magical. But we, too, would be magi - wise men and women - if we would look and listen for God's epiphanies all around us. It is, quite simply, "a good idea." Because if we don't, we might just miss how God is already with us and at work.
So... Where and how are you sensing God's presence in your life?
I'd love to hear about your epiphanies. Share them in a comment or an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). And I hope you will join us for worship during this season of Epiphany (Sundays at 10:30 am on Facebook and YouTube, and hopefully back in person soon!) as we look and listen for God's presence with us and God's work among us.
Have a blessed Epiphany!