The Epiphany of Our Lord
“The Light of the World Arises out of Darkness”
January 1, 2017
The word “Epiphany” is important for us to define. In a wide sense, the way it might be used outside the church out in the world, an epiphany is a discovery or disclosure of previously unknown or unrevealed information that changes the way we look at the whole world around us. When, for example, Copernicus demonstrated that the earth was not the center of everything in the universe, but rather that everything in our solar system actually revolves around the sun, that was an epiphany. It rewrote all the astronomy books in a single moment and we would never look at the universe in the same way again.
When we speak of Epiphany in the church, we mean the revelation of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the light of the world, with a special emphasis on the revelation of Jesus Christ to those who are not historically the people of God. Hence this festival within the church focuses specifically on the revelation of Christ to the Magi, the wise men of the east, who by national identity were outside the people of God but who were to be joyfully included in Christ’s great mercy and compassion.