The Revealed God

by the Rev. Dr. Jason Parkin

Most of our world believes that Christmas is a single day, celebrated each year solely on the 25th of December (although-and I am not making this up-I have heard tell of two young men arguing in a store last month over whether Christmas fell in 2014 on the 24th or the 25th!) Once the day itself is past, many people act as if Christmas were all over. We know better. We know that Christmas is, in fact, an entire season, one lasting 12 days and coming to a culmination in the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6. In similar fashion, Easter lasts not just one day but a full 50; and the season of Pentecost encompasses the several months following the feast for which it is named.

So it is with Epiphany. As this issue of the newsletter arrives in your mailboxes, we will be approximately half way through the season of Epiphany, which is longer this year than normal. Yes, the feast celebrating the visit of the three magi to Bethlehem is weeks behind; but the period will still be unfolding in which God's own self-revelation and the revelation of the unique role and identity of Jesus unfold. During the Epiphany season this year we have already heard about Jesus being baptized and calling his closest disciples to follow him, and we will hear on coming Sundays extended passages from the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus tells his followers a great deal about the holy reign of God and the life of discipleship. Each of these moments unpeels something about the truth of who Jesus was and his mission and vocation to lead people-people of all ages, colors, backgrounds and description-closer to God and God's kingdom.

One interesting truth about the seasons of the Church year is that they provide us with the opportunity to respond to what we have experienced as we have walked with Jesus through a particular part of his life and ministry. During Easter, for example, we are called to reflect on the ways in which God is bringing about new life in us and in the world. During Pentecost, we can ponder the motion and action of the Spirit in the daily rounds and routine and rhythms of our lives. And during Epiphany, as God's holiness is revealed step by step and event by event in the person of Jesus, we can similarly contemplate how God reveals God's own self to us and through us. During this season, the promise of God is that we will find the revealed Christ if we

--look for him in unexpected places, like in a stable, or among the forgotten and
--seek him in the faces of friends and neighbors and children, colleagues and
--relinquish our reluctance to believe that he is even now among us.

God is among us, even now, in Jesus. God is working in and through us, even now, in Jesus. God is revealing the divine love and grace, even now, in Jesus. So how is God making himself known to you this season, and, through you, to the world?