Epiphany is traditionally celebrated on January 6, a day we honor the arrival of the Magi to meet Baby Jesus. Some Christian traditions consider it a one day only event, and call the following days "The Season after Epiphany." Others honor a longer season, calling Epiphany the weeks leading from January 6 all the way up until Ash Wednesday as we approach the Season of Lent. There are other observations held by other faith groups, creating various kinds of energy around this time in the church calendar.
But no matter how or when you acknowledge Epiphany, it deserves some credit. The word Epiphany is derived from the Greek word ἐπιφάνεια (epiphánei), meaning "manifestation" or "appearance." It has come to be understood in more secular terms as a sudden understanding or realization - in other words, an "ah ha moment." Or, as Jen Sincero aptly puts it, “An epiphany is a visceral understanding of something you already know.”
There are some things in my life that I definitely already know, but I am avoiding at the moment. Maybe you are the same. I am choosing to stick my proverbial head in the sand because the truth is hard and scary. The visceral understanding is too deep and too raw. Yet, Epiphany asks us to take a peek. It reveals, it manifests, it allows things to be seen for what they really are.
It is accepting.
It is shining the light. It is watching for that certain star.
This is the truth of what happens when the curtain is pulled back.
The Magi were, after all, called and lied to by a wicked king. Not knowing this, they followed their own path - they made the travel, they brought the gifts they had to share, and they listened when their very dreams pointed them in a different direction.
During these days of Epiphany - or epiphany - I pray for gentleness in the reveal. I pray for loving arms to stand beside you. I pray for the flash of joy and the embrace of goodness. I pray for the courage to face what is coming to light.
May what lies behind the curtain be sheer beauty... even if the steps on the journey to get there are difficult ones.
Courage, dear heart. - C.S. Lewis