Epiphany Challenge of 2019
By now, some of you are wondering why I am using “Epiphany” as a challenge for the whole year. Isn’t the Season of Epiphany just for the few weeks after Christmas? Yes it is! However, it is so much more than that. An epiphany is an appearance or manifestation of the Divine. In Church, it starts with the Magi coming to see the Christ child. Christ was manifested or revealed to the Magi.
Here is the Epiphany Challenge:
First: Watch for epiphanies. Some are little, like the star. Some are huge, like Jesus appearing on earth! Both were manifestations of God and both were possible to miss. Epiphanies are happening all around us. Maybe you’ve had one. Scripture has examples of God acting in situations that seem like no big deal to others but that were a big deal for the ones for whom God acted. So, train yourself to look for God moments — little epiphanies. Think of how your life will change when you begin looking for and recognizing God’s activity all around you. Sometimes epiphanies require more from us than to simply notice them. They might be a call to action.
Moses experienced this with the burning bush. It was a fantastic manifestation of God’s presence, and in that moment, God called Moses to liberate his people from Egypt. The star the wise men saw was not just a pretty thing but a call to action — to go out and find the newborn king.
Second: Get into the habit of looking for epiphanies/God moments. Be prepared to act if one of them turns out to be a call from God to respond. It doesn’t have to be something grand. Have you come upon someone who looked like they needed to talk or who seemed to be having a really bad day, but you didn’t respond? There was that small voice in the back of your mind urging you to respond. Later you think “Gee, I should have said something” and you regret not acting. The small voice is the nudge of the Holy Spirit. Here is something amazing. When you start noticing God’s presence and are obedient to the nudge of the Holy Spirit, you become nothing less than a living epiphany for other people!
Let us commit this year to being attentive to God’s actions around us AND to act upon them when called. Ultimately, that is how the kingdom of God breaks into this world — little moment by little moment. Let us never allow those moments to pass us by.
Third: Bring someone to church. Pray for someone in your circle of acquaintances who does not regularly attend a church or may not even express belief in God. Pray for them through the year and be involved with them. Be open to opportunities to invite them to worship. Do not be overbearing or rude, just make it your mission to befriend and bring them to church. Think about how this place would become even more alive with the presence of Almighty God. Then share your epiphany with the church. Write about it and send it to me. There will be a special page in the newsletter for these experiences. You do not have to sign your name. Just share your story.
Your Friend and Pastor,