Epiphany: God’s Transformative Light

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned.” -Isaiah 9:2 (NIV)

Epiphany is a significant event in the church calendar, celebrated on January 6th. It commemorates the arrival of three wise men who brought gifts for Jesus at his birth. This celebration continues until Lent. ‘Epiphany’ means a revelation, defined by Merriam-Webster as “an appearance or manifestation, especially of a divine being.”

In Exodus 13:21, we read that while the Israelites were making their way through the wilderness towards the Promised Land, the Lord went ahead of them as a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night. These pillars of cloud and fire were epiphanies, ‘visible manifestations’ of God’s presence, and reassured the people that they were not alone. The Lord was with them and guiding them on their journey through the wilderness.

Jesus became the Epiphany, assuring us of God’s presence. In today’s world, we are constantly exposed to various forms of darkness, such as violence, wars, epidemics, and hatred. It is the responsibility of the Church to bring hope and light to humanity. The Church must serve as the Epiphany, the light, illuminating the way for those lost in the darkness.

Light is known to bring about transformation in various ways. It has the power to transform things differently - it aids in the growth of plants, drives technology, and, on a more spiritual level, represents knowledge, enlightenment, and a connection with God that can lead to personal and societal growth.

In a prayer attributed to Francis of Assisi, we find these words: “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.”

We who once walked in darkness have seen a great light. We who once lived in deep darkness, the light has dawned on us. The presence of God’s light is transformative - it dispels darkness and brings about a profound change within us. As believers in Christ, we must allow His light to shine through us and become the embodiment of His love and compassion in this world. When we embody Jesus, we become instruments that display that He is the Light of the world.

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to be God’s Epiphany, illuminating the darkness with the transformative light of love. We are God’s presence in the world, and we must consistently fulfill our role as the Light of God, bringing about profound transformation throughout our lives and shining as a beacon of hope and a source of inspiration for all those who seek to find their way out of the darkness.

In the new year, may our prayer be:
Creator of Lights,
You light up my path with your brightness,
Shining my darkness with shining lights.
Each light has a name, guiding me
Until it touches my heart, waking me up
To new thoughts and bright ideas.

Infinite Giver of Lights,
Give me the wisdom and bravery
To follow the lights, even when I’m scared.
They’re with me wherever I go:
The Hope Light,
The Mercy and Compassion Light,
The Justice and Peace Light,
The Tenderness and Love Light,
The Suffering Light,
The Joy Light.

Whenever they shine, may I feel a call
To follow, to sing, to shine
to live them fully.

Written by Rev. Kay Dubuisson