Happy New Year, Creator family, and a blessed Epiphany – Our lives are never going to be the same!
The Greek word "Epiphaneia" means "appearance" or "manifestation," but perhaps a better working definition for us is one penned by an unknown author in a online questionnaire:
[Epiphany is] a realization; an opening; a portal to the Divine; growing up; a magic moment that impacts you and changes you forever and you can remember it as vividly as you experienced it; a moment that changes the lens through which you view your life; our soul scratching around our head and giving us a signal to guide our lives with; a moment of descending light, open knowledge, and choice; a drastic shift in energy and change of perspective that happens in the form of a moment of clarity; something that gives you the strength to take a different direction or move forward and opens up everything; a sense of wonderment; a clarifying direction; and, that moment where you know your life is never going to be the same.
In the church year, the season of "Epiphany" is the joyful celebration of “call,” God’s call to the world by God to come to the Savior and the call of the Wise to take the journey. We celebrate this event on January 6th, but Epiphany lives in every baptized person year-round!
Epiphany is the state of being in which new beginnings are ever possible and God’s light leads us through the darkness. Epiphany is the word that shouts GLORY and MIRACLE in every moment and proclaims LOVE and BLESSING in every heart!
The Holy Spirit continues to open people’s hearts and minds spiritually to perceive, receive, worship, and serve Christ in the world in as many unique ways as there are people. This Epiphany story continues to happen every day in our lives--in our congregations, our communities, and in the lives of people of other races, nations, and languages. Each day, God’s deep compassion breaks upon our world, forgiving sins, and giving light to those who are sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, guiding us all in the path of peace (Luke 1:77-79).
We are all on a pilgrimage of faith and hope that continually grows our love for God and others through the years. Each day, new people come to the realization that God is God, and Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord. People everywhere seek and need mature disciples and vital congregations that can spiritually nurture, guide, and encourage them on their pilgrimage of faith and hope.
Claim Epiphany as God’s gift and call--and actively engage everyone and everything through the Light of Christ! My prayer is that the epiphanic light of God will shine so brightly through our pilgrim lives and our congregation so that new hearts, tender hearts, restless hearts, broken hearts, and searching hearts may attain spiritual insight, see and discern God’s gracious activity in their lives, and find their way into the fulness of Christ’s overwhelming love, mercy, joy, and promises.
May the Light of the Father’s love and the burning presence of the Holy Spirit lead you and guide you to boldly proclaim the Grace and Mercy of Jesus, our Savior and King.
Father Bill Burk†