Jonah: Epiphany manifestation of Christ
Dec. 27, 2013 at 11 p.m.
Epiphany. When is the last time you used the word "epiphany" in a sentence?
If you've had an experience like me, it was when a sudden and never-before-in-my-mind realization happened in my brain.
Have you ever had an "epiphany?" It's like the fog has been lifted and things come into clarity.
Now if you capitalize the first letter of "epiphany" you come up with something different. Epiphany (with a capital letter leading the way) refers to one of the days celebrated as part of the Christian year. Perhaps you attend a church where Epiphany is observed yearly.
Epiphany is always Jan. 6. Remember the holiday tune, "The 12 Days of Christmas?" You may have wondered where the 12 days come from. If you count from the day after Christmas for 12 days, you arrive on Jan. 6.
Back in the history of Christianity, Christmas was not celebrated on just one day, but the occurrence of Christmas Day started a 12-day celebration of Christ's birth.
Epiphany, which also carries the meaning of "manifestation," is a time when we remember that Jesus Christ came to save the whole world, Jew and Gentile alike.
The coming of the Magi to worship the Christ child is remembered as the honor and glory given by all people groups and nations to the savior of the world. God has taken on human form in the person of Jesus Christ.
So what's purpose of talking about this? Epiphany is a way for Christ-followers to remember that the birth of Jesus is not something celebrated for one day only (a day that has already passed as you read this), but is something celebrated for the purpose and reason God took on human form.
While the Christ child may be pleasant to consider and think about, the Christ man came with a purpose to save the world.
The identification of the knowing who Jesus is prepares us for the coming days of remembering why he came.
Easter is on its way. Be encouraged that Jesus came for you. He is the one who comes to seek and save the lost. People like you and me, people who need an "epiphany."
<em>- Dr. Mark Jonah is the assistant professor of worship arts in the Theology Department at LeTourneau University. He has more than two decades of worship arts ministry experience in churches in his native Canada.</em>