Today, January 6, is Epiphany. And what is Epiphany, you may ask. It is a largely ignored church festival that celebrates the foreign-born, star-guided Magi coming to the baby Jesus with gifts. The Magi see clearly what others do not see: there is a guiding light; there is a new king.
The word epiphany is associated with insight, inspiration and refers to the "Aha" moment when things become clear. A smoker sees his two-year old reaching for a cigarette butt and realizes he needs and wants to stop smoking. After a discussion with a colleague, you realize that you were talking past each other. You say to yourself, "Oh, that is what he meant! I completely missed the point."
There are epiphanies from God. Your newborn baby gives you sudden insight into the overwhelming love of God. The radiant moon in a clear starry sky stops you and thanksgiving rises in you. There is a moment of clarity when you recognize that you want the clarifying light of Jesus in your mind and heart to guide and direct you.
That star which pierced the ancient night
has faded from above,
yet through the visionary sight
of faith and hope and love
we, like the wisemen, still may find
life's animating goal:
the Christ who prompts the probing mind
and lights the open soul.
Thomas Troeger, Borrowed Light, p. 93
Thanks for listening,