Our Redeemer's Blog

Epiphany: Enlighten Us

by Pastor David

We are entering the season of Epiphany in the church year. Epiphany is the season of light. The word is not unfamiliar to us, and it certainly plays into our vocabulary and the ways of naming profound experiences of our lives. We hear people claim to have had an epiphany about something. And therein lies some truth to the meaning of the word. To have an epiphany is to have something appear to us, to shed light on a truth that has been revealed to us that offers insight to understand ourselves, others, and our world a little better.

For the church, the season of Epiphany holds similar meaning. However, our primary emphasis as the church orients our attention to how Jesus brings us to emergent understandings of and appreciation for God’s presence among us. We have journeyed through Advent, our preparing for Christ born in our world, to Christmas, the celebration of the gift of God’s presence among us, and now to Epiphany, the ways in which this Holy Presence in the person of Jesus enlightens the world. 

And yet, a revealing, especially in this Jesus person, is not without questions. Questions are always out-standing with respect to the instances that are not quite so clear or self-evident. The texts we will hear during worship remind us of the various ways Jesus has been enlightening the world. 

The guiding question for Epiphany will be, “who is this Jesus person as one who enlightens us?” Is he a threat as Herod and the religious authorities claim? Why would he be a threat? Is he a guide who merely models a way of living? Is he a prophet? Is he an anointed one? A political leader? God? 

When we say “Enlighten Us” what are we doing? First, we are praying with intention and attention. What I hope we lean into during this season of Epiphany is a deeper, more curious listening ear for how it is that Jesus is still communicating to us. Second, we are confessing that Jesus is our Spirit-led leader who sheds light on how it is that God is present and moving among us, and the powerful implications such a movement has for us as the people of God. Within it all, we are invited into a curious inquiry, for what all of this means, and that’s OK.

“There is something powerful about light coming into the world that opens up new questions, and new possibilities. The possibility that our futures may not be solely dependent upon our own creation and self-sufficiency. The possibility where curiosity, trust, and hope become the new companions on our journey into a light that guides the way.”

It is in this journey of discipleship, of openness, becoming learners of Christ, where we wrestle with the ways that we are being enlightened, through our praying and confessing, and questioning, that as the people of God new epiphanies are promised.

I pray that this journey through Epiphany gives us a shared and renewed focus for the season, and a lens for imagining anew how it is that God in Jesus enlightens our way.

– Pastor David

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