The Light of Epiphany
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” Is. 60:1
January can be a very difficult month. The days are short, the nights are long. The weather is harsh. The bills from Christmas start coming in. We take down all the lights and decorations proclaiming the joy of Jesus’ birth. All of this simply adds to the exhaustion of the season. If you feel like taking the month off to recuperate, you're not alone. The last thing you may want to hear and do is “arise, shine”.
Indeed, if it was up to us and our own human abilities, we could not arise and shine. Left to our own imaginations and desires, we would choose the darkness. God knows this. In His love, He sent His Son, Jesus to be the light of the world. This is the good news of Epiphany, “your light has come”. The memory of the glow from candles on Christmas Eve can still warm our hearts and minds as we reflect on the light of Jesus and His love.
Light drives out the darkness, but not the doubts. Light reveals the road ahead, but it doesn't reveal everything that will happen. The season of Epiphany, which means revelation, begins and ends with the same rev-elation. At both His baptism on the first Sunday of the season and again at His transfiguration on the last Sunday of the season, we hear the voice of God revealing, “This is my Son, whom I love”. Jesus reveals Himself as the Son of God in each of the gospel readings this month. As we journey with the people of God recorded in Scriptures, the light of God's Word reveals our way as well. We do not know everything that 2022 holds for us as individuals or as a church, but we know the One who holds us in His hands.
What is true for us as a church is also true for us as individuals. Your light has come. Jesus brings hope, peace, joy, and love to you. God is faithful and keeps His promises. Through the waters of your baptism, the light of God's truth and love has been revealed to you. As a child of God, “the glory of the Lord rises upon you” and within you each and every day. As you experience the hills and valleys of this season and throughout the new year, let the light of Jesus shine through you. It is His light of love that enables you to “arise, shine”.
In His service and yours,
Pastor Mark R. Rhoads