Did you get what you were hoping for this Christmas ? Or are you long past the stage of wanting anything in particular, just happy if you are remembered in some way, especially by those you yourself could never forget.
These quiet days after Christmas are ideal for remembering how you were indeed remembered and basking a bit in the love expressed in that remembering. The Church seems to think that way too by asking us to bask in the wonder of the EPIPHANY, a feast that brings it all home to us.
Most of us have just ONE picture of the EPIPHANY: three men coming in search of Jesus and laying their gifts before him. But in fact the Feast of the Epiphany offers us THREE pictures and together they help us appreciate the great gift of Christmas itself.
Each of these three gets a mention in the official prayer-life of the church at this time of year, though the story of the three wise men grabs most of the attention.
For our own good, let’s look at each of them in turn. In their own way, each of these incidents gives us an image of God’s love reaching out to us in the midst of our own daily lives.
EPIPHANY first meets us in three travelers, men from a far country. Using their own limited vision, they get to the very edge of the great discovery, but there, close to Bethlehem, their own
star deserts them so that they need to humbly ask directions from the wisdom of the Bible and then they can continue their search. Finding Jesus they lay their gifts before him (the tools of their trade) and as the bible tells us they go back to their own country by a different way; Changed Men.
EPIPHANY reaches for us again by the waters of the Jordan where we hear the Baptist proclaiming that one of those gathered for baptism, is in fact the Chosen One, on whom the “favour of the Father rests.” Two of John’s disciples follow Jesus. They ask him, “Master, where do you live?” and hear those loving one words of invitation, “Come and see”. For them too, things are never the same again.
EPIPHANY meets us lastly and conclusively at Cana in Galilee. The wine has run out and in that easily understood domestic problem we are given an image of how it is to be in our own following of Christ. Our own selves too will be exhausted, but that is not a moment for despair. It is in moments of our greatest need that under the power of Jesus, the water of our best efforts becomes the wine of celebration. It is living testimony that our own fruitfulness will always be found in doing his bidding.
We learn these lessons from stories in the Gospels, but they only begin to mean something to us when we recongise them as moments in our own lives. And thus it is that,
"The best gift you got this Christmas
may be one you are still receiving".
Taken from Val Farrell's blog www.jenico.blogspot.com