A New Season Begins!

On January 6th in our Christian calendars, the season of Epiphany begins. The name “Epiphany” comes from the Greek word Epiphania and means “to show, make known, or reveal.” It is meant to be a celebration that remembers the wonder and impact of three miracles that reveal the divinity of Jesus as King.

We remember and celebrate the visit of the three Magi during Christ’s birth, an act of Gentile recognition of Christ’s Kingship. We remember and celebrate Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River when the Father said, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” We remember and celebrate his first miracle at the wedding in Cana, when Jesus revealed his glory and his disciples believed in him. These three events are central to the definition of Epiphany and its meaning, and each one of these event point to joy.

We rejoice in the coming of Christ, but it’s not enough for Christ to have been born. 

Epiphany begins with the Magi receiving an order from King Herod and disobeying that order because of a word from God. The Magi had to make a choice, to trust God in King Jesus or trust King Herod. They trusted God. 

Among the many beautiful things we receive during Epiphany, we receive an invitation. We are invited to trust God in King Jesus, or we can go on trusting King Herod. The reality is, both kings are at work in the world creating all sorts of tension in our lives. Both kings make promises and offer what they believe to be the ‘good life.’ Sometimes their decrees are aligned, sometimes they are not. It’s when they are not that a choice must be made. In our hearts, one king must submit to another. We cannot split allegiances. Thanks be to God, Epiphany is tied to the Christmas promise: the way of God in King Jesus is our liberation and true way to hope, peace, joy, and love.

During the season of Epiphany, we receive the invitation and celebrate the promise as we remember our pledge of allegiance to King Jesus. When we hear the words of the Father pronounced over Jesus in his baptism, “This is my beloved son,” we remember this pronouncement is ours too. When we see the miracle-working power of Jesus throughout the Scriptures, we remember that God is all about new possibilities. Let’s allow the season of Epiphany to make known the wondrous love and reign of Jesus our King and the new possibilities he brings. God has come to us! Jesus is King and light to the nations.

One more thing to remember, since our faith that includes every tongue and nation.

In Hispanic and Latin culture, as well as some places in Europe, it is known as ‘Three Kings’ Day. In many of these countries, it is celebrated with special pastries, including a Kings Cake, and is a time of feasting and celebration. Children often receive small gifts in their shoes in honor of the Magi’s gifts to the infant Jesus. 

Epiphany Sunday marks a straight line between Christ’s birth and his baptism, his incarnation and the declaration from the voice from heaven that he is the Son of God. Therefore, Epiphany is more than one Sunday; it becomes a season that guides the Church through the life and ministry of Jesus. It extends from January 6th until Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent leading to Easter. 

Celebrate, beloved. Remember. And receive the invitation.

About Fred

Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience. Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas. Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.
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