It’s squished in, between the High Holies of Christmas, and the Long Laments of Lent. Most of us barely notice it, don’t know it has a name, or what it’s for…. it’s the Season of Epiphany. If we know the name “Epiphany” at all, we associate it with that Star in the East, followed by camel-riding Magi to a stable in Bethlehem. Isn’t “Epiphany” just the last hurrah of Christmas, signal to take down the dried up Christmas tree, and box the baubles til next December? Who knew it was more than a day? Or that it’s actually a season – anywhere from 5 to 9 weeks long?
So what now then? Do we really have to get excited and “into” yet another Christian Season during these dark dreary days of January and February? Well, perhaps you, good reader, don’t have to if you don’t want, but I do!! And I dare to say, I think it’s worth the effort.
Epiphany – a Greek word meaning “manifestation” or “revelation”- is a season designed to help us get used to God showing up in the world. It does take some getting used to, despite the 200o years of heralding the mind-blowing nativity of “God-with-us”! This startling claim of Christmas – that God’s love for creation is so involved, so ‘entwined’ with creation, that God chooses to take on the same blood, flesh, sweat, tears, pain, joy, ecstasy, agony of human existence – is not so easy to grasp, when you stop and think about it. So it’s no wonder that the Christian church decided to take a few weeks each year to really get used to the idea that God is not just “in his heaven”, but is here with us on earth. This squished in season of “Epiphany” is a gift of time to notice God’s “extraordinary” presence, gifts, signs, and promises, nestled in with us in the “ordinariness” of our creaturely lives.
That’s the thematic approach I shall be taking to the Season of Epiphany this year: Noticing God’s “extraordinary” in the midst of our “ordinary” – God’s healing, loving, challenging, presence and promise peeking through in ordinary things like water, words, human bodies, a walk in the mountains, a song, an ancient poem, a net of fish…. If we start to notice God in these ordinary things that the lectionary scriptures talk about, then the question is begging to be asked…… is God inmyordinary life, too, spangling it with potential and promise, change and newness like stars in a winter sky? Omigosh! That’s epiphanic!
Join us during the weeks of Epiphany, see if you see what I see: God’s extraordinary, in the midst of our ordinary! See you Sunday!