Happy Epiphany! I’m not sure that is the proper way to acknowledge this day and it does feel a little secular. Perhaps Blessed Epiphany?
I was not raised in a tradition that followed the liturgical year and so it has only been in the past few years that I have been aware of these special days (other than Christmas and Easter) throughout the year. Almost ten years ago the feast of Epiphany fell during a silent women’s retreat that I was attending. That retreat was a crossroads in my life and I have never forgotten January 6 since. I cannot say that I understand the liturgical or theological importance of this day, I can only say that it feels important to me personally.
I love the word ephiphany. I love the way it sounds and the way it feels in my mouth as I speak it. I love all of the meaning wrapped up in it, so full of surprise and possibility. The possibility that a new insight or a new way of seeing could forever change our lives. The word literally means appearance or manifestation. So for me, it means all of those times God bursts onto my scene. And sometimes that means the proverbial light bulb going off over my head and the aha(!) escaping from my lips. But it also means the times that I have a quiet knowing, a sureness that comes from some place deeper than just myself.
Having the aha moment or the great epiphany can be very exciting. Having all of the puzzle pieces fall into place after a long discernment or just receiving the grace of an understanding from seemingly nowhere can be a spiritual and emotional thrill. But, it seems to me that most of my epiphanies have brought with them an invitation to change and to transform. They come for my benefit and for the benefit of the world, and so I am asked to act. That action usually requires courage, integrity and discipline.
I recall one particular epiphany that was so powerful it was almost miraculous. (OK, it wasn’t almost, it was miraculous.) I witnessed a whole scene unfold before me and then I immediately knew that it had to do with a very painful confrontation that I needed to make. In that moment, I not only knew what I was supposed to do, but exactly how I was supposed to do it. But then as I set about acting upon my knowing, waves and waves of fear and anxiety set in. Somehow, I waded my way through all of it, did exactly what I knew I needed to do and the result was a beautiful reconciliation that has lead to true forgiveness and new relationship.
Not all epiphanies require work, of course. Sometimes my knowing is that I must surrender my control, let go, fall back into the loving hands of God, rest, and wait.
I am grateful for all of the epiphanies in my life, both small and great. They come way more than once a year and if I am awake enough I will see and know them. May all of your epiphanies be truly blessed.