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Merry Advent friends,
I hope you have recovered from December mania. As we move into the New Year, I want you to think about the Sundays ahead. If you make resolutions, resolve to come to church more! You will be glad you did because it’s Epiphany! Epiphany lasts all of January to the middle of February. Epiphany comes in three flavors – the dictionary de
finition, the day, and the season.
The day, The Epiphany, is the second flavor. The Epiphany ends the 12 days of Christmas. If you sing the song “The 12 days of Christmas” you will get to 12 drummers drumming. This seems like cruel excess, as I can’t imagine anyone would want all that racket after the pipers and leaping lords. For those of you who want something funny, Google Colin Nissan’s 12 days of Christmas. I won’t link it directly as there is some salty language.
But I digress, The Epiphany is about celebrating the three Magi who discover Jesus and give their best gifts to him. Matthew never leaves anything to chance because the gift of gold is for Jesus the King; the gift of frankincense is for Jesus the Priest; and the gift of Myrrh is a funeral spice for when Jesus gives his life.
We celebrate THE Epiphany on Sunday, January 7th, as opposed to Saturday January 6th, which is the actual day. But the main reason for the story is to remind us that God revealed love in Jesus for all people, especially foreigners, outsiders, and anybody who wants more from God. Matthew wants us to know that, from the start, God was interested in blessing Jewish people and non-Jewish people alike.
The Epiphany Season is the third flavor. It starts on January 7th and goes through February 14th (Ash Wednesday). The readings in Epiphany reflect two themes: Evangelism — come and see and Authority — his miracles witness to his authority. The word spreads both through people and miracle which gives more people a chance to follow Jesus. Not every sermon Susan or I preach will be explicitly on Evangelism and Authority, but those two themes will definitely be grist for the preaching mill. As we embark on 2018, please pray for St. Timothy’s and our ministry. Pray that we might be an epiphany for those seeking new life. Pray that we might be the end of a long spiritual journey where people can rest and offer their best gifts to Jesus.
Happy New Year and Merry Epiphany,