A Final Christmastide Reflection: Clearly – Appeared and Revealed…
“He has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News.”
Today marks the day of Epiphany and the conclusion of the church Christmas season (Jan.5th). Today, and for the next season in the cycle of the church calendar, we celebrate and reflect upon the revelation of God made man in the person of Jesus Christ…the appearing of the Incarnation. This Epiphany is extremely significant in what it represents. Not only does it recognize the coming (appearance) of the Christ, but also his manifestation to the gentiles (the Eastern wise men aka Magi) and his manifestation as Son of God to the world at his baptism in the Jordan River. His first miracle, turning water into wine at the marriage feast in Cana, (another manifestation and affirmation of his deity) is commemorated during this season of reflection and wonder as well.
1 Arise, Shine; For your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. 16 You shall know that I. the LORD, am your Savior and Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. 18 …You shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise. 19 …The LORD will be your everlasting light, and your GOD will be your glory. 22 I am the LORD; in its time I will accomplish it quickly.
What happens when we realize the truth and gravity of what has happened among us? How does this affect and change us? What does it really mean to us when the “glory of the LORD has risen upon you”? I am reminded of the words from Thomas Merton who writes the following:
“We who have seen the light of Christ are obliged by the greatness of the grace that has been given us to make known the presence of the Savior to the ends of the earth…not only by teaching the glad tidings of His coming; but above all by revealing Him in our lives… Every day of our mortal lives must be His manifestation, His divine Epiphany, in the world which He has created and redeemed.”
Epiphaneia: to cause to appear or to bring to light…
“Come and See…” “Go and Tell…” (Mark 3:14)
A great and marvelous light has come into the world. Jesus is that light and it amazes me that He desires to make his abode in the likes of me, but the writings of Paul to Timothy tell me this was the plan of God before creation and time… “So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News.” (2 Ti. 1:8-11). I want this to be the only thing I live for; my consuming desire…to bring Glory to Him, My God, Savior-Redeemer, Jesus.
I have been praying a prayer that I found from Columbanus for the last couple of days; I will continue to pray this prayer daily for at least the remainder of the week. It follows:
Lord, I pray that You may be a lamp for me in the darkness. Touch my soul and kindle a fire within it, that it may burn brightly and give light to my life. Thus my body may truly become your temple, lit by your perpetual flame burning on the altar of my heart. And may the light within me shine on my brethren that it might drive away the darkness of ignorance and sin from them also. Thus let us be lights to the world manifesting the bright beauty of Your gospel to all around us. Amen. –Columbanus
“May all kings fall down before Him, all nations give Him service…” (Psalm 72:11)