Epiphany means “manifestation” in Greek, and in the days following the Feast we celebrate most especially the manifestation of Christ’s benevolent rule over the world. On Epiphany proper, we hear the story of the Magi visiting the baby Jesus after following a star to him. Herein we see the nations of the world bringing their treasures to the feet of King Jesus. The following Sunday we hear of his baptism in the River Jordan, the moment he receives John’s prophetic anointing as King David once received Samuel’s, and thus inaugurates his reign as Israel’s “anointed” (messiah) King. The season of Epiphanytide concludes on February 2, the Feast of Christ’s Presentation in the Temple, when we hear the story of Joseph and Mary dedicating the baby Jesus to the Lord on the fortieth day after his birth (Luke 2:22-38). While there, they were amazed by his reception by the prophet Simeon, who having now seen the Lord manifest in the flesh burst into joyous song (Luke 2:29-32).
The question Epiphany presses upon our minds and hearts is simple: how has Christ made himself manifest to you? How have you encountered his sure graces in your life? How have you come to understand the reality of his rule even amidst a world still arrayed against him? How has he met you personally, both to encourage and rebuke, as the righteous King he is? What stories could you tell of meeting Jesus? Take a moment to bring those stories to mind. Tell yourself the stories again, find the nearest person and tell them.
The stories you could tell, that I could tell, are why we are here at all, why we call ourselves Christians. But our Lord manifests himself to us that we might manifest him to the world. We are now the light of the world in his name, and by his power! And people do not light lamps merely to put them under a basket, but to place them on stands to light the whole house!
We are a young church plant on the Main Line, and the Lord has already blessed us richly. But we have much work to do. Remember the words of our Lord: “to whom much is given, much will be required.” But do not fear! We may not feel evangelism is our spiritual gift, but all Christians are called to bear witness to the Lord. No street preaching is required; all that is needed is that you tell people freely the stories about your encounter with the living Christ I just asked you to bring to mind. It is not your job to convert anyone; that power belongs to our Lord alone. All we must do is tell of our encounters with the risen Lord and let him do the rest. So go! Keep the celebration going by speaking forth the epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ!