Happy New Year! How many times have you received or shared that greeting in the past several days? Too many to count? Right. But how many times have you heard someone say, Happy Epiphany!?? I didn’t think so.
“Epiphany” is one of those crossover words that can be used in both sacred and secular conversation. Any new personal discovery, insight or breakthrough is often referred to as an “epiphany.” This word has its roots in the Greek, epiphaneia, which means “appearance.” The verb form of this word means “to appear,” and it is this word that Paul uses in Titus, Chapter 2, verse 11: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.” For centuries, the Church has observed Epiphany on January 6th (twelve days after Christmas) remembering specifically the visit of the Magi, or wise men, from the east. These non-Jewish visitors, bearing gifts for the Messiah, are the proof positive that Jesus is both King and Savior of the whole
I find it both interesting and inspiring that Epiphany comes at the beginning of a new year. The
whole world recognizes the potential and promise of a new year. And this year, we get a new decade! But what is the source of our hope? Where is that potential and promise for renewal found? It won’t be in our flimsy resolutions or any other temporary fix for the challenges we face. Our real hope is that God has come to earth. The potential and the promise for us all comes from the fact that God’s love and grace has appeared in His Son Jesus Christ, the Light
of the world, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!
As we begin a new year, I pray that God’s grace will continue to appear, to “show up” in our lives every day. We face many challenges in 2020 - as individuals, in our families, in our local churches and in our denomination. We may feel tempted to worry or be fearful. But instead, this can be for us a time of opportunity and growth. So let us begin this year with an epiphany of God’s grace, filled with the confidence that Jesus is indeed the hope of the whole world. And
may the Lord use us to show that grace to everyone around us as we remain Alive Together in Witness!