Thoughts on Sunday

The word “Epiphany” means to cast light upon something, so that it is revealed and can be seen clearly.

During the Church’s season of Epiphany, the nature of the Christ child born in the stable at Bethlehem is revealed.

Epiphany begins on 6th January, when we remember that astrologers from far-away lands were guided by the light of a star to find the infant Messiah.


Rembrandt: supper at Emmaus

The gifts they presented reveal the nature of the child, as gold is the gift for a king, frankincense the gift for one who is worthy of worship and myrrh tells of human suffering and death.

And so, the mystery unfolds, as the humanity and the divinity of the infant Jesus is revealed in all its fragility and glory.

Epiphany ends on 2nd February, when we remember that, at his Presentation in the Temple at Jerusalem, the Christ child was revealed to be himself a light of revelation of the nature of God, not just for his own people but for all people, everywhere, as the old man Simeon proclaimed.

During the Epiphany season, we will hear more about who Jesus is and how those who encountered him were changed as they left the old ways behind and set out anew to follow in his light.

Epiphany falls at the New Year and so it is a good time to consider where the new needs to be welcomed and the old discarded.

And so, with the Magi and Simeon, as we gaze in wonder at the infant Christ, we ask ourselves:

  • ‘Who do we say that he is?’
  • ‘What changes might he be asking us to make?’
  • ‘Where is the light of Christ calling and leading us?’