Epiphany and epiphanies

Today is Epiphany!  Have a merry and happy Epiphany!  It isn’t just about the wise men.  It’s the beginning of a whole season in which the scheduled Bible readings on Sunday deal with “epiphanies” of who Christ is:  His baptism, in which the voice from Heaven says, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mathew 3:17); His first miracle; then other Gospel stories, culminating in the Transfiguration, in which the voice from Heaven again says, ““This is my beloved Son,with whom I am well pleased”  (Matthew 17: 5), bracketing Jesus’s ministry with the Father’s identification and favor.

I’m interested in the word “epiphany,” which is also a literary term (meaning a character’s or the reader’s moment of realization in a story) and a term referring to experiences of ordinary life, in which we suddenly see the significance of something.

After the jump, I post an excerpt from a dictionary on the various meanings and uses of “epiphany.”  Read them and reflect on how even the seemingly non-religious uses of the term can apply to Jesus.

[Read more…]

The offering Christ wants from us

The Wise Men gave Christ gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  What gift do you think Christ most wants from you?  Pastor Douthwaite in his Epiphany sermon said that the offering Christ most wants from us is our sins. [Read more…]

Your Bethlehem; your manger

More from Pastor Douthwaite’s Epiphany Sunday sermon, which pointed out that the Wise Men were not really seeking Christ.   He was seeking them.  And us.  And that we too have a Bethlehem, and we too find Christ in a manger. [Read more…]

Seeing with the eyes of faith

Like the Wise Men, Pastor Douthwaite last Sunday opened up treasures.  Not gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but the treasures of God’s Word.  His Epiphany sermon had some gems that I want to contemplate the rest of this week.   He pointed out, for example, that the Wise Men saw merely a baby–not with the halos of the Christmas cards–but they saw Him with the eyes of faith, as we must, and thus knew Him as the Son of God. [Read more…]

Epiphany as both theological and literary term

Today is Epiphany, a day and a season in the church year that I especially appreciate, old English teacher that I am, since the name is both a theological and a literary term.  I explain that after the jump in a post from four years ago. [Read more…]

Better than witnessing the Transfiguration

Yesterday was the climax of the Epiphany season, Transfiguration Sunday, marking the most explicit epiphany of Jesus during His time on earth.  St. Peter saw witnessed it personally, as he describes in His second epistle.  But he goes on to say that we have something even better, even more certain, than witnessing the Transfiguration. [Read more…]


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