Monday, January 10, 2011

Epiphany: Light Breaks into the Darkness

Light! Light breaks through the darkness. Epiphany is all about light—God shining into the darkness of our world.

January 6 marks the day of Epiphany on the church calendar, celebrating God’s breaking into the dark world. This day commemorates God’s appearance (i.e., “epiphany”) to the Gentiles as the three magi came to worship Jesus.

So often we place the emphasis on the magi, but the bigger story is God’s—revealing himself to a dark world. The magi would never have come unless, out of love, God chose to reveal himself to them. Through the star, God shined forth in the physical light and called the magi to come. Then on Epiphany, God radiated forth in Jesus, the Light of the world!

In Isaiah 42:6-7 God says concerning the coming Christ:

“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”

This time of year the sun is weak and the earth lies covered with snow during the dark, cold months of winter. (The photo above was taken a crisp morning at 6 degrees below zero!) Yet we have this certain hope—the light is ever-increasing. The days are becoming longer, a few minutes each day. In time the hours of sunlight will overcome the cold and melt the snow. Although it will take a few months, springtime is certain.

Likewise in our lives, the light of Jesus’ shining grows stronger and stronger. His appearance (“epiphany”) is for the deliverance of us, Gentiles and Jews alike, as Isaiah states. Whatever the dark area or need in our life, Jesus is ready to radiate his love, deliverance and healing.

Our Lord will open the eyes of the blind—if we but reach out to receive his light. He will free us from the prison of captivity—whatever that looks like in each of our lives. He will release us from the dungeon of darkness—as we seek to live in his light.

© 2011 Glenn E. Myers

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