I’ve been pondering for a number of days now exactly what I wanted to focus this article on as we enter a new year celebrating the time of Epiphany. Should I take this space to write about all we accomplished in 2019 (it was a lot!), or should I focus on where we think we’re headed for 2020, or should I focus on what the Epiphany means for us, as Christians? I suddenly had my own epiphany today when I realized that the Epiphany of our Lord we celebrate this Sunday has a great deal of significance to us as a congregation as we enter into the new year.
To be honest, I have not always paid enough attention to the Epiphany of our Lord and what it really means. In doing some reading recently I now have a much clearer understanding of how the arrival of the wise men, sent by God to see the Christ child, was the beginning of the Epiphany or “revelation” to the world of Jesus as God’s own son, sent to save us from sin as God had promised throughout the ages.
These Magi left their homes seeking truth. Theirs was a simple faith, established and solidified by God’s Word. And through this simple faith God led them to see His word fulfilled through Christ’s birth and instructed them to proclaim what they had witnessed, to proclaim this revelation, to witness to this Epiphany.
The wise men trusted God, and because they did God’s grace was revealed to man. So exactly what relevance does this Epiphany have for us as a congregation entering into this new year with no pastor? A prayer that I came across recently in my Council notebook helped to provide me with some insight in answering that question. “A Prayer of Thomas Norton” reads, “My Lord, God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore, will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and will never leave me to face my perils alone.” If we substitute “we” for “I” in Norton’s prayer we can take comfort in being reminded that our future as a congregation is in good hands, as it is in God’s hands. In God’s time we will have our own epiphany as He makes our next pastor known to us. In the interim, we wait with faith in God’s grace.