The Revealed God

by The Rev. Dr. Jason Parkin, Rector

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-some years ago I heard a couple of young men arguing in a store over whether Christmas fell that year 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 on 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 approaching the Feast of the Epiphany, with its celebration of the visit of the three magi to Bethlehem. But the Epiphany season merely begins with the Feast itself and allows us several weeks to experience God's unfolding self-revelation through the life and growing ministry of Christ. During the Epiphany season this year we will hear on Sundays about Jesus calling his disciples to a new life; about Jesus teaching in synagogues and casting out unclean spirits; about him healing the sick and being transfigured before the sleepy eyes of Peter, James and John. Each of these events 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 holy realm.

One interesting truth about the seasons of the Church year is that they place upon us the responsibility of reacting 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 routines 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 lonely;
--seek him in the faces of friends and neighbors and children, colleagues and strangers;
--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?