Epiphany is a revelation, manifestation, or “striking appearance” of God; Its Wise Men seeing a little baby that is somehow the Lord of all creation.
United Methodist Bishop Reuben Job, in his book When You Pray says “Most of us at some point in our lives experience a sense of abandonment, unworthiness, aloneness, that is as palpable in its sorrow as we want to presence of God to be joyful. Epiphany assures us that the light is coming and the darkness of confusion, illness, sin, doubt and violence that grip our world and darken our world will not last.”
It was Martin Luther King who said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.”
When we think about the world, hear the news, read the paper, look at our checkbooks, go to the doctor, it is hard to remember that God has a different intention for this world. He said “Let there be light” (not “let there be darkness”) for a reason. There was already enough darkness in existence. The “formless and void” universe didn’t need any divine help to make darkness. Only God could create light. He did. And it was good.
The light God created still burns; it lights our world, warms us, makes crops grow, determines the day and night and seasons.
He created humans for the purpose of managing that light, tending the garden, and making this world the best place it can be. We thought we could do it better – didn’t need to listen to God – and we find that we cannot. After thousands, maybe millions, of years of trying our world still suffers.
Over the course of those same thousands or millions of years, God has never stopped trying to remind us our purpose, save us from our sinful ego-driven lives, and bring us to HIS path. The ultimate attempt came in the form of Jesus of Nazareth. Emmanuel, “God with us.” Yet, over and over, in many different ways, Jesus reminds us that we share in the job of lighting this world!
Matthew 5:14-16: You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lampstand, and it shines on all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven.