Monday, January 7, 2019

Celebrating the Epiphany

My mom asked me, “What’s the Epiphany MEAN?”... really? We go through this every year, and I must admit that I often like to tell people that we are still celebrating as we don’t take the decorations down till AFTER the Epiphany, which falls in the first week of the new year. It gives us extra time not only to take in the holidays and enjoy them, but it’s also a good cushion to give us breathing time before the hard work of undoing begins.

It’s always a bit sad to take the decorations down, but the Epiphany window is one we use as our excuse. So, when my Mom asked me to look it up online, I did and as I suspected, it was associated with the three wise men and their visit to the Christ Child. It’s what I had always thought-that when the three kings visited the Christ child, it was called the Epiphany. The revealing of the child to the gentile world was the revelation of Jesus as the Son of God.

Of course, the epiphany is also defined as some moment of revelation in our lives, where everything is illuminated for us. That is a rare occurrence and shouldn’t happen on a yearly basis for most of us. But if it does, and when it does, it should be a life-changing event.

I’ve had a few epiphanies in my life. At the time, you don’t always know you’ve had this revelation. It reveals itself to you sometimes instantly, but often as you grow to learn and understand what has been revealed to you.

There was a time I was explaining to a trusted friend who was a pastor, about a family argument years ago, and she just casually asked if there had been any drinking in our family history. I just laughed because we had this Black Irish larger than life background and yes, of course there was a lot of drinking in my family history! My first thought was ...Doesn’t everybody have this in their past? There’s usually SOME skeleton hanging over us all...Isn’t there?

So that was an Epiphany and started a journey for me of exploring and reflecting and learning. I’ve had some work epiphanies, and life epiphanies, and some were great and wondrous, others were dark and prompted me to rethink my life and my goals. But all of them served a great purpose and I’m convinced that there is divine intervention in everything, as we hear even of the fall of the sparrow being part of the plan in God’s kingdom.

And so I have great renewed respect for the celebration of the Epiphany in our lives. We need to celebrate the coming of the New Year, the birth of Christ celebrated throughout the globe and also the purpose of an epiphany and the cause for celebration within the humble confines of our lives.