In the Epiphany, the church concludes the Christmas season in the same spirit with which it began: that a light comes into the world in the midst of darkness to be for us a permanent reminder of God’s presence and love.
Reinforcing the Christmas Light is in us
The Epiphany | Matthew 2:1-12
We close the Christmas season tonight with the Epiphany, one of the oldest, most-loved holy days of the church. And it’s one of my favorites. Though I have kind of “a love the one you’re with” approach to Christian holy days.
The Epiphany, however, is different. While all these other holy days focus hard on the historical elements of Jesus’s life, like Christmas and Easter or the newer ones, which dwell on theological concepts, like Trinity Sunday and Christ the King, the Epiphany dwells in different territory.
God, Son, and Holy Spirit territory. Like Pentecost and the Transfiguration, there’s a rumbling here. A pushing and a bumping into that thin place where God and humanity are at once in peace.
But it also wraps up the Christmas story, brings an end to our celebration of the Incarnation for another year with the powerful witness that Incarnation keeps going past these thirteen days of celebrating and honoring the Christ child.
And we remember again the Incarnation of God in the flesh, in the humanity of the humble people gathering in the night, by the light breaking through darkness. Remembering that this is what God does.
And we hear in this terrifying and wonderful story of strangers from a foreign land, traveling to see the light who has come into the world, following a star to his home, to pay him homage as a king.
A king born under the rule of empire and the tyranny of a murderous fake king.
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