Friday, January 6, 2012


  1. an appearance or manifestation, especially of a deity.
  2. a sudden, intuitive perception of, or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

So, today is the day of Epiphany, which means many different things, to many different people!

One tradition holds, that from the appearance of the Star (the Nativity of Jesus) to the arrival of the Magi with their gifts, entailed a period of 12 days.  January 6th has been ascribed as the date when the Wise Men finally made their way to Bethlehem with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

This is the simple story that I carried from childhood, and one I still can envision:  the stately Magi, in their rich robes, awkwardly descending from the camels who carried them on their journey.  Each of them carrying before them, a small chest of the precious items, each imbued with special significance – presented to the infant king and his parents.

But, Christian churches look at this day differently.  Some Eastern Orthodox churches observe this day as the Baptism of Jesus, rather than just the arrival of the Magi.  Some churches observe the nativity on January 6th, rather than December 25th.  Other churches define this day as the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ.

Although I like the simple story best, each version carries an element of one of the dictionary definitions:  appearance or manifestation of a deity.

Let’s carry that thought forward, to the second dictionary definition:  “a sudden, intuitive, perception or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something…”

Epiphany – a sudden revelation, or perhaps, a sudden understanding of something that was before you all along…. And it took you until today to see it.

So many faith paths, in the month of December, enact in one way or another, death and rebirth.  The old year passes.  The Sun reclaims the cycle of increase and new life.   The new year is before us.

Epiphany is the Ah Ha! Moment, when you connect with what has gone before, when you understand the process that Is unfolding, and now you become a participant in its creation.
So now, instead of waiting for things to happen, you exert your energy to begin to make things happen.

Epiphany represents that Ah Ha! moment when you really understand what it means when you say  “ I am “. 

More to follow on how the season of Epiphany is celebrated!

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