I had a friend who was a radio broadcaster and he included a regular feature on his show called “epiphanies.” These would be stories of discovery or experiences which shed new light on some everyday occurrence. We sometimes use the expression “I had an epiphany!” We mean that something just became clear, or that we gained some new understanding.
Life should be full of regular epiphanies and new insight.
The term means “to show” “to make known” “to reveal.”
In the western Christian church tradition, there is the season of Epiphany. It begins on January 6 – the day that celebrates the visit of the Magi to the Christ child (Matthew 2:9-11). Most Christmas pageants, cards and pictures have the three kings at the manger or crib at the birth of Jesus. The Bible doesn’t say there were three (although there were three gifts mentioned), and it doesn’t call them kings (they were magi or scholars – perhaps astronomers or astrologers – so we call them wise men.) So much for the song “We Three Kings.” And the Bible doesn’t include the magi in the nativity story (Luke 2:15-20). The magi appear sometime after the actual birth. We read in Matthew 2 that they visited Jesus in “the house” not a manger. And the word for “child” (Matthew 2:11) was more commonly used for an young child or toddler, not a newborn. This is why the cruel despotic king Herod had all children two years old and younger massacred (Matthew 2:16). Definitely the darkest chapter of the Christmas story.
Darkness and light – a prevalent theme in the story of faith, and of life.
The magi had searched the ancient manuscripts and had done the math – they were eagerly searching for “the newborn king” They had seen his star and had come to worship. In this season of Epiphany (this year from January 6 to February 9, 2018) Let us keep our minds and hearts open to the new and unexpected. An epiphany.