According to the traditional church calendar, today is known as Epiphany. Epiphany marks the end of the Christmas season. I love Epiphany. Epiphany comes on the heels of the New Year and offers the same invitations to something new.
Epiphany celebrates the pilgrimage of the Wise Men to seek, and subsequently find, the Christ child.
It is about seeking something we don’t fully understand until we stumble upon it where we least expect it and coming home changed.
Ruth Haley Barton explains Epiphany in this way: “The story of the wise men is a story of pilgrimage. It is about being willing to leave that which is familiar in order to arrive at our deeper spiritual home. It is about seeking something we don’t fully understand until we stumble upon it where we least expect it and coming home changed. If we are at all awake during this season, we might sense ourselves being invited to a new journey of our own—a journey that involves leaving familiar territory in order to seek and find new ways of opening ourselves to God’s presence even movement (and perhaps most especially) when we feel our circumstances won’t allow for it.”
Epiphany invites us to our own journey of seeking, finding and opening ourselves to God’ movements and presence in our lives. It opens us to the spiritual possibilities in unlikely places. Epiphany has to do with seeing something new on the horizon that stirs something new in us.
Epiphany has to do with seeing something new on the horizon that stirs something new in us.
I have an Epiphany stirring in my heart: the invitation to something new, something born of God, something that takes me where I have not been before…something I want to say yes to.
So, here are the underpinning of my journey this year: To follow God, with abandon, into an unknown place (as scary as it may feel); to trust the direction I am headed leads to the place I really need to be; to put aside my need to construct the journey according to my expectations; to continually be reminded that God is good and life-giving in all His ways.
What is stirring in your heart? If you pay close enough attention, you may find one too. It may feel unfamiliar and probably risky, and will require great courage to step into the unknown. But pilgrimages have a way of changing us somewhere inside where it matters.