As I indicated from the pulpit last Sunday morning, I’ve always had a somewhat “conflicted” relationship with the celebration of Epiphany. Conflicted may not be entirely accurate, though. “Bitter/sweet” would be better. Epiphany brings the Twelve Days of Christmas to a close, and ushers in the liturgical period which precedes “The Transfiguration” and the start of Lent. After Epiphany, the sanctuary is stripped of its Christmas finery, the decorations are stored, and the familiar carols are lodged in our memories. The Holy Family travels on to Egypt and the magi return home by another way. I know they’ll all be back next Advent/Christmas Season, but I’ll miss them in the interim none-the-less. “Epiphany” means manifestation or revelation. At the Epiphany of the Lord we celebrate the manifestation of God’s saving purpose to the world. Just as the magi came from a distant land to worship the Christ child, God’ covenant of grace is extended to all people who believe the good news of Jesus Christ. The symbolism of light is important—not only because of the star that guided the magi, but as it suggests the dawning of God’s self -revelation in Jesus Christ. As Christians, we are called to bear Christ’s light in the world. And so, we do, as we attend to the needs of our neighbors, our families, our church, and our community, living out our baptismal vows throughout the year. We are named and claimed by the God who ordains us for ministry and mission in the world. Ours is not a sedentary faith— it’s a dynamic one. We are constantly on the move, finding those places of need which demand our attention. Beautiful decorations and familiar carols, as wonderful as they are, are no substitutes for service. I invite you to join me in the year 2019 as we worship and serve together as the congregation of Bethany Presbyterian Church. Our calling is clear, and the need is great, but our community is strong, and our faith secure. Together, we can support each other by fellowship and prayer as we journey through the unfolding liturgical year which lies before us. The light of Christ will illumine our path, and God’s faithful love will support us along the way!
Grace & Peace, Kent