Rev.  Jan Bihl
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By the time Epiphany arrives, the shepherds – the common people first called to the stable where Jesus was born, have all gone home having told everyone what they had heard and seen.

 

Epiphany is a term that means to reveal or to make known – to make manifest the meaning of something or someone. For us, it is to make known the meaning of Jesus for today…the meaning of God coming to us and fully sharing our humanity.

 

The visit of the Magi signal the beginning of Epiphany. The Magi (the kings) – from a different land – a different culture – followed a star and found the Christ Child - the newborn king – the promised One – not in a palace but in a humble abode with a humble family - not where or how they thought…and their lives were changed by this new knowing… this revelation of who Jesus is. The Magi were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, so they went home by a different road.

 

After this, Joseph was also warned about Herod in a dream, and so he escaped to Egypt with Mary and Jesus…and some time after that they travelled to Galilee and settled in the town of Nazareth. Matthew tells nothing more (Luke does, but Matthew does not) about Jesus’ life after that until the appearance of John the Baptist, some years later, and that’s when Jesus’ public ministry begins.

 

John is baptizing people at the Jordan River in Galilee and Jesus has come to John to be baptized. The Promised One – God’s anointed, God-with-us - is a man of humble means – a carpenter – now identifying completely with our humanity – in baptism…And then taking baptism to a whole new level. He will baptize in the Holy Spirit.

 

So, next week on January 6th – Epiphany – and the 6 weeks following (up to Shrove Tuesday), I wonder what we will discover about who Jesus is for us today and how that might become more than an “aha”.

 

Where the Light Begins

Jan Richardson – Circle of Grace - For Christmas Day

© Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com

 

Perhaps it does not begin.

Perhaps it is always.

 

Perhaps it takes

a lifetime

to open our eyes,

to learn to see

what has forever

shimmered in in front of us-

 

the luminous line

of the map

in the dark,

 

the vigil flame

in the house

of the heart,

 

the love

so searing

we cannot keep

from singing,

from crying out

in testimony

and praise.

 

Perhaps this day

will be the mountain

over which

the dawn breaks.

 

Perhaps we

will turn our face

toward it,

toward what has been

always.

 

Perhaps

our eyes

will finally open

in ancient recognition,

willingly dazzled,

illuminated at last.

 

Perhaps this day

the light begins

in us.