Epiphany concludes the Christmas season on the Christian
calendar. The word epiphany means to “show” or “reveal.”
As the magi brought gifts revealing and celebrating Jesus, the
season of Epiphany reminds us of our sacred role in revealing
Christ to the world.
The star shone bright, revealing the way for the wise ones.
We also require light to see where we are, where we have been,
and where we are headed.
The glow of God’s glory illumines Israel, the light to the
nations. The thick darkness will come, but God’s glory will
appear. Notice that God’s glory in verses 1 and 2 “bookend” the
darkness, overcome the darkness. And we then recall the words
of John 1:5, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness
did not overcome it.” We as God’s servants reflect the glow of
God’s glory to a world in need of light.
This week you have used your breath, ears, and eyes. Now
will you engage your imagination for a moment? Envision
God’s light shining over you. Now picture that light radiating
from you into the world. God called Israel to arise and shine.
With that shining came prosperity—the wealth of other nations.
From that prosperity the people brought gold and frankincense
in praise of God, just as the wise ones offered the gifts of gold,
frankincense, and myrrh in homage to the Christ child.
How do you reflect God’s glory? What light can you offer
the world in your praise of God? Francis of Assisi wrote, “All
the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single
candle.” Each light matters.
Lord Jesus, thank you for being a light in our world. Show me today the ways in which I may share your light with others, revealing you to the world as the magi did so long ago. Amen.
Many will read the Isaiah text and identify the servant with Jesus, the one God enables to do the work of justice and transformation. The psalm announces the glory of God, a king powerful over the turbulence of nature and whose voice is a transcendent revelation. Matthew’s story of Jesus’ baptism joins the themes of servant and king. The baptism inaugurates Jesus’ ministry in which he proclaims God’s righteousness. Peter’s speech in Acts reminds us that Jesus’ baptism carries with it the promise of baptism in the Spirit.
• Read Isaiah 42:1-9. In this new year, what promises of God do you want to breathe in?
• Read Psalm 29. When the storms of life rage, how do you listen for God’s promptings?
• Read Acts 10:34-43. To whom do you need to proclaim the promises of Jesus Christ?
• Read Matthew 3:13-17. How does your understanding of your own baptism encourage you to live as an obedient child of God?
Respond by posting a prayer.
This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”
Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.