The word “epiphany” comes from a Greek word which means “to appear” or “to make manifest.” As the early church developed a yearly rhythm of celebrating and remembering the story of salvation, the time after Christmas was chosen to focus on the teaching and healing ministry of Christ, on what happens when God “appears” in the story. The season of Epiphany, which stretches from Christmas to Lent, offers us an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of the Incarnation, the momentous reality that the eternal God has become a human being in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. As Christians, we confess that God has come to us in the person of Jesus, and that as we come to know Jesus, we come to know God. In the person of Jesus, God appears before us. In the person of Jesus, God is made manifest. Because Jesus came to the earth, we can know God in a personal and intimate way--not only as our creator and Lord, but also as our redeemer, our champion, and our friend.
This Epiphany season, we will be looking at how God’s love is made manifest in Christ, and is witnessed to the world through the Holy Spirit working in our lives. Our focus will be on the biblical claim that “we love because he first loved us” (I John 4:19). God loves us, and so we love
others. And this plays out in so many ways throughout our lives. God’s world is our world, and so we care for it as faithful stewards of creation. God’s kingdom is our kingdom, and so we faithfully rule within our sphere of authority, using the power, wealth, and privilege God has given us as
representatives of Christ in the world. God offers us abundant life, and so we work tirelessly for the betterment of his image-bearers around the world, that all may know abundant life, peace, and joy. God calls us to follow him, and that call becomes our call, as we call others to follow Christ. God enters into our suffering and experience, and so we likewise bear one another’s burdens, rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn. The things that God does shape the things that we do as we seek more and more to be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.