Not being a life-long Episcopalian and not coming from a family of faith, the twelve days of Christmas was always a long song filled with weird gifts. Who in their right mind gives eight maids a milking? Seriously…who does that? Somewhere in my adulthood the concept of giving God lavish praise for the gift of Jesus suddenly made sense. One could say, I had an epiphany – a sudden perception of the meaning of something. As we turn our faces towards the season of Epiphany, I am left pondering what this season holds for me now after leaving the year that was 2020 behind and hoping for a new “revealing scene or moment” that brings a fresh epiphany.
To better understand what epiphany means, I turned to the trusty Merriam Webster dictionary (https://www.merriam-webster.
com/dictionary/epiphany) to gain insight. You will certainly find your own insights from this definition, and I offer a few thoughts of my own.
These last nine months have been the most difficult of my career. Thankfully, my faith helped carry me through and even provided answers to hard-thought problems – even in the midst of a pandemic, epiphanic revelations provided solutions that had previously eluded me. The “intuitive grasp of reality” moved me from paralyzing anxiety and fear to freedom of thought and love of others. Jesus soothed my nerves and offered comfort and clarity when I needed it most. I can’t say my epiphany was anything like Doc Brown received after hitting his head on the sink and coming up with the idea for the flux capacitor – which, of course, makes time travel possible. But, that same sense of purpose and assurance is something that Back To The Future character and I share – feelings that are both comforting and grounding.
As we prepare to leave Christmastide and enter into Epiphany, I offer the following questions for you to ponder and pray with this season:
When was the last time you had a true epiphany that opened you up to God?
What revealing scene or moment has grasped you over Christmas?
Are you in touch with your “essential nature”?
If you find yourself needing support or someone to process these questions with, consider developing a relationship with a spiritual director to help you explore all these questions. Deep study of the scripture can also help you be open to God more than you can imagine.
May you be God’s epiphany in the world bringing “Christ to the Gentiles” in ways that help to spread God’s love in the world and to your neighbor.