For Nashville media folks… this blog title would come as a normal “in-box” discovery on a monday morning at the office. After all it would sound like just another artist Press release being blasted out for the world to ignore. IF someone actually read this title, they might wonder if it’s related to some long-lost washed up, one hit wonder – 80’s rock superstar whose delusional comeback tour was about to begin. Well as much as that sounds like fun…we’ll need to move on 🙂
The title “Epiphany… Rocking your World in 2012” is referring actually to an old, old holiday, found on most of our calendars. January 6th in fact, and as such it is the traditional day the church has celebrated “Epiphany”! Although it’s not a new event, or a high profile one, it is of significance to those who call upon the name of Christ.
However respected or venerated this holiday is… compared to Christmas, New Years, Kwanza, Valentines Day, Presidents Day and the elusive WildCard NFL playoffs… it’s not exactly been hot current events or breaking news. But it is important!
If you’re wondering what I’m even talking about, don’t sweat it… you’re in good company. If your from an older tradition of the Christian faith you probably understand and appreciate already the powerful symbolism and thousands of years of inspiration represented in the name. But I would dare to say that for most of us, “Epiphany” is still a bit foreign.
This last sunday, (Jan 8th, 2012) my pastor, Brian Hardin shared on the concept of “Epiphany” and it sort of rocked my world. I wanted to share it with you to see if might rock yours too 🙂
e·piph·a·ny(-pf-n) / noun . pl. e·piph·a·nies – ( http://www.thefreedictionary.com/epiphany)
a. A Christian feast celebrating the manifestation of the divine nature of Jesus to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi.
b. January 6, on which this feast is traditionally observed.
2. Epiphany: A revelatory manifestation of a divine being.
a. A sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something.
b. A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization
Epiphany it seems is the moment when we celebrate the recognition of the divinity of Jesus Christ
. Sounds a bit scholarly still… let’s translate that a bit more… to paraphrase quote my pastor and DAB founder
Brian Hardin. “Epiphany, is the day we realize the baby in the manager on Christmas is the actual and only SON OF GOD.”
That’s a bigger deal than you might think. It means that little one we adore on Christmas is also the young man who grew up a carpenter’s son and chose to die on a Roman cross for crimes he didn’t commit. It means this baby Jesus…the star of Christmas, who just born in a manager and celebrated with endless joy and fanfare each December is the same one who actually created all things, knows all things and loves all things and is keenly and specifically aware of the actual date of our own birth and eventual death. That bouncing baby Jesus is WAY more than just a cute and cuddly iconic symbol of hope and joy and peace. HE IS GOD, THE CREATOR, COME to SAVE CREATION.
IF we get this truth from our heads down to our hearts… it will change EVERYTHING in us, about us and around us. It would mean that the words of Jesus are actual truth. It would confirm that the bible is really trustworthy and that the commandments of Christ are actually to be followed as the “life-giving” words they are promised to be. That’s right… words to LIVE by… not as a cold, dead, legalistic, moral code of conduct that allow us to simply survive yet another year.
It would mean that for 2012, we would be consciously putting our faith, our hope and our very lives into the uniquely human and uniquely divine hands of the God of the universe. The King of Kings, the baby that brought us new birth would suddenly become the focal point of each of our days, of the 51 weeks remaining in the year ahead. It would mean that we could “relax” and trust completely in the peace of our promised redemption once and for all for each and every moment this year has yet to reveal.
It would also mean that to follow this Jesus we would need to do what He says. To take the effort to stop and Listen to His voice, and then have the courage to trust and obey His instructions for our lives. To let go of the steering wheel and let someone wiser, someone stronger, someone divine direct our paths. It would be scary and exciting and an exhilarating adventure to let GOD himself be who He claims to be in our lives…
That’s why we call a new insight or revelation an “Epiphany“. Because in grasping an Epiphany we experience a life change, a moment in time when everything becomes different and forever new. A moment like the world had when the son of God Himself chose to visit us, and allow Himself to be wrapped in flesh and become an earthen vessel. At that moment, an unprecedented change in the divine order occurred, an epic shift in the cosmic “status quo” that has not stopped impacting, remaking, re-directing all of life, all of history, all of time, all of culture and all of our faith ever since.
It seems this all might deserve a moment or two of contemplation from us… two thousand years of history notwithstanding… and may this blog serve as some small insight as to why the early Church fathers may have chosen to mark this 6th day of January each year as “sacred” and crucial to the history and substance of the church.It was, it is… it forever will be a cornerstone of our Christian heritage.
Oh and now I want to re-phrase that earlier Press release… something like… “EPIPHANY… playing LIVE…Rocking the universe for ALL Eternity”