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Epiphany Season

I’m usually excited this time of year.  It’s a new year, it’s a new season of life.  There’s lots to look forward to and plan and start things again with a positive attitude.  But I don’t know about you, but this year I feel like everyone is a bit… down.  The wars we have been hearing and reading about and watching footage of on TV have made it feel like the world is broken.  Our local news has been full of tragic stories of violence and loss.  It’s hard to feel hopeful and renewed in the midst of all that.  

How do we wrestle up that outlook for the new year?  How do we figure out how to spread light and joy and love, when we feel like it isn’t making a difference, that the world is still so dark and gloomy?  Is it OK when we don’t feel so hopeful or happy or optimistic?  

This January 6th is the 12th day of Christmas and a day we call Epiphany.  Epiphany comes from a Greek word meaning, “showing forth, appearance, manifestation, revelation.”  We associate the season with revelation and light - the light of the star that led the Magi to Jesus, the light of the world born to us in Christ, the unveiling of God’s light that will free us all from the darkness.  

Yet we find ourselves in the midst of the darkest time of the year.  The nights are long and the days are short - and mostly overcast and gray besides.  But, this is when we need to focus on the light, on epiphany, more than ever.  This is when we need that hope in the midst of the darkness that God offers us.  It is not a blaise, “don’t worry, be happy,” it is not a trite “everything will turn out fine.”  Instead, it is a profound promise of hope in the midst of the gloom, that there is hope, even when it feels the darkest.  

This new year I am wishing that you can find that light in the darkness in your own life.  I am hoping that you can find the spark to scatter the shadows.  In spite of the tragedy, God is with us, and knowing that, there will always be hope.  

May this new year bring you peace and rest and above all: light and hope.  

Arise, shine; for your light has come,

and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

For darkness shall cover the earth,

and thick darkness the peoples;

but the Lord will arise upon you,

and his glory will appear over you.

Nations shall come to your light,

and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

~ Isaiah 60:1-3

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