Epiphany – a moment of sudden and great revelation or realisation (OED). In Biblical terms the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented y the Magi of three kings. (Matthew 2:1-12.)
My husband likes to say that he had an epiphany four and a half years ago while riding his motor cycle along the Wye Valley from Chepstow towards Monmouth on his way to visit friends. We had been talking for years about moving away from the overcrowded South East of England but the question was where to? When I arrived at our friends’ house by car with the dog he presented my with half a dozen house details. He had experienced an ‘epiphany’. Mid Wales was beckoning. I am so grateful.
Today is January 6th. I took down the Christmas decorations yesterday. I feel a little gloomy as lockdown continues, we were not able to see our grown-up children at Christmas and the prospect of seeing them in the near future seems unlikely. Yet today is Epiphany and I must remember that when the magi saw the infant Jesus they saw God. It was God himself who manifested himself two thousand years ago.
In the Old Testament we read of God manifesting himself in many ways –as a cloudy pillar, a burning bush, as an audible voice in the darkness. Since he has revealed himself in the human form of Jesus, there is no need for the obvious presence of God. He has revealed himself to us through Jesus and promised that his presence is with us constantly in the form of the Holy Spirit. And so,
We will not be afraid even though the earth is shaken and mountains fall into the sea. Even if the seas roar and rage and the hills are shaken by the violence. (Psalm 46 v2) GOD IS WITH US.
This is the meaning of Epiphany.