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The Art of Worship: Epiphany

January 6 marks Epiphany in the Christian year. Twelve days after the birth of Christ we recognize the wise men’s arrival to Bethlehem to honor the Christ child. For Epiphany, the colors are white, then return to green to signify Ordinary time, which concludes with Transfiguration Sunday, when the church remembers the radiant vision of the disciples who saw Jesus’ garments turn bright and they heard a voice from a cloud that overshadowed them saying, “This is my Son, whom I dearly love. Listen to him!”

I was the room mother for my son’s first grade class. I was often assigned to take students to the hall and read with them. One boy was having real trouble figuring out how to read. He was so frustrated he started crying saying he just didn’t get it. We sat together quietly for a moment and I pulled out one word and showed it to him. I said “This is the word ‘the’. Every time you see it in this book, you read the word ‘the’.” We read a story and he was able to spot it every time. Several months later, we were in a group for reading going over sight words. I noticed he had made significant progress in his reading. I asked him “Remember that time in the hall when we learned the word ‘the’?” He nodded his head. Pointing to the long list of sight words the kids were working on I said “Look at all the words you know now…you are reading!!!” He looked and just like that a glow like a light bulb lit up his face, a huge smile spread across it, a confidence and delighted feeling exuded from his soul. The Epiphany that he could read was evident.

Originating from Persia where Zoroastrianism prevailed, the Magi stepped out in faith and followed a heavenly sign to the incarnation of God in Christ. Their Epiphany led the wise men to pay homage, an observance of great majesty, solemnity and awe. God is the god of the Hebrews, the wise men, and people everywhere. Even the stars, heavens and the Universe know. The star trek of the wise men from the east to Bethlehem adds to our understanding of God. Epiphany is the time when the church gathers to remember and reflect on the mighty acts of God in the birth of Jesus Christ. As we watch and wait for the light of Christ to overcome the darkness, we see the Christ child who will become prophet, healer, teacher, and savior.

This season seek a new Epiphany to let the light shine around you, and in you, and then from you. Let there be a glow like a light bulb lighting up your face, a huge smile spread across it, a confidence and delighted feeling exuded from your soul. The story will enable you to continue to become disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We who have seen the light of Christ now desire to reflect it in our community and in our world by letting others see Christ through our loving presence.

Melanie Amend

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