You wouldn’t believe how many people wished me a “Blessed Epiphany” on January 6! Thank you readers, friends, and members of First Baptist for being such good sports. I got a request for my shoes from someone who wanted to put hay in them, several suggestions for family Epiphany celebrations, and one comment from a woman who said she was going to celebrate Epiphany “Irish style” by handing the baby off to her husband and enjoying a day of leisure.
Hope that worked out…
Anyway, I wanted to point out that Epiphany is a day, not a season. Unlike Christmas, which goes on for 12 full days, Epiphany comes and goes on one day—January 6. The “Sundays after Epiphany” (as they are known) are part of “Ordinary Time” on the Christian calendar. But in that ordinary time between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday, the Gospel lessons typically focus on Jesus’ public ministry, so that as we “hear” him teach and preach, as we “watch” him heal the sick and raise the dead, it becomes clearer and clearer to us who he really is. It’s as if someone is dialing up the dimmer switch on the wall, so that what began with a flicker of starlight over Bethlehem ends with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, bathed in light so dazzling that the disciples have to shield their eyes.
That’s what I hope will happen in the sermon series I begin on Sunday—“The Seven First Words of Christ”: that as I focus on the beginnings of Jesus’ public ministry in the first chapter of Mark we will begin to see more and more clearly who he is, the dimmer switch will be dialed up, the light will get brighter and brighter, until, in the end, we will have to shield our eyes.
Nothing “ordinary” about that!