Epiphany — Let’s keep it going!
Advent seemed to gain some traction this year! Guys like Louie Giglio and others spoke and wrote about Advent, even calling for people to “bring Advent back.” Which among some of my friends was a bit humors. Our thought is that Advent didn’t really go anywhere, you did. But regardless, it’s great that communities are embracing the rich resource that the church calendar offers us. Let’s keep it going!
At the end my Advent book that was published 2 years ago I left the reader with this though on Epiphany as a springboard to continue their journey through the year with the church and her calendar.
The Season of Epiphany begins after the Twelve Days of Christmas and continues until Lent, 40 days before Easter. What exactly is it, and how do we observe it? Well, we’ve all had an “aha” moment when the lights go on and everything makes sense. That’s an epiphany. It can happen slowly, like when the lights are gradually turned up in a room, or suddenly, when everything goes from black to full color and light in a moment.
I’ve had epiphanies take place both ways but it’s always God who turns on the light! He reveals Himself and makes it clear that life will never be the same. This experience is different for every individual, but it’s all a revelation of God’s self.
Thus, Epiphany is the season in the church calendar when we watch and listen as God is quietly—or sometimes not so quietly—revealed before us once again. Sometimes, even when we try hard to do so, we just don’t see God in our everyday lives or in the events of our world. Epiphany gives us the time and resources to watch, wait, listen, look and be open to the revelation of God. Watching and waiting are practices we can intentionally carry over from our Advent journey because Epiphany is a season that reminds us God constantly wants to reveal Himself to us. He longs to turn on the lights, connect the dots and show us the way!
The Lectionary will guide us through three key Scriptures readings during Epiphany. We traditionally focus on the Magi, who literally had the bright light of a star turned on above them to reveal what God was doing in the world. We also consider the baptism of Jesus, which more fully reveals who Jesus is, the Son of God. The season concludes with pondering the story of the Transfiguration, the scene that gives us a glimpse at the pure radiance of Jesus, the light of the world, as He reveals Himself to some of the disciples. Epiphany is a season to really explore these aspects of Jesus’ story that reveal Him in new ways.
So there you go! I hope this could be a great springboard to guide you through this next season of the church! If you want more reading for flection during Epiphany check out these resources. And keep an eye out toward the end of 2015 for a new resource I’m putting together. I can’t wait to share it! More on that coming soon.
The Book of Common Prayer (Of course! The reading and prayers are all here.)
A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God (This is a great resource that follows the liturgical calendar. It includes explanations of the seasons, daily devotional liturgy with scriptures, prayers and reading for reflection. It’s a must have!)
Ancient-Future Time: Forming Spirituality through the Christian Year by Robert Webber (Webber is the forerunner for all us “Evangelicals on the Canterbury trail.” This is a really good resource on the calendar and it’s significance. Less devotional and more informational but great nonetheless.)
Living the Christian Year: Time to Inhabit the Story of God by Bobby Gross (I haven't fully got into this resource but it seems great and what I have read in it I really liked. Check it out!)