Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Epiphany is not one of the words that we use daily. Consider: you're at coffee with a friend and you're feeling thoughtful and you say: "By the way, I had an epiphany the other day." OK, we don't say that word: epiphany, but we might say it like this. "Something came to me the other day." Not just I had a thought.

Surely, we get new thoughts all the time. If you're like me, and who isn't? You will every once in awhile think something that you need to know or do. Sometimes you're busy doing something else and a word will come to you. Or, you're praying, and when you listen for a few minutes, an idea comes to you. Now, Epiphany is all that and more.

Epiphany means "revelation". It means that when we are in relationship with God in Jesus we are a part of this ongoing process of kingdom living. We are living the "God With Us" life and sometimes something just "comes to us". Someone says that you know it's from God if you can't do it all by yourself without God. If it's something that is too big for you, or seemingly impossible, then it's God speaking.

But, it may be something as simple as the need to forgive someone you've been holding something against for a time. But, Epiphany means that it's a gift of God. It just comes to you. Not out of the blue, but from God, from the power of the Holy Spirit. It just comes to you.

While writing sermons or writing blogs, or working in and out of hospitals and homes and worship, I am always looking for an Epiphany. I am always looking, expecting, that God is speaking to me, appearing to me, wanting to talk to me. And, If I listen, and pray, and live my life for Christ, then it will come to me.

That is sometimes the advice that I give someone who is struggling with something. They don't know what to do about someone or something. They ask me. I might help them explore the issue or the need and then I'll say something like: Well, if you're praying, and keeping your commitment to Christ with worship, and study. If you're regularly studying scripture and you're listening, it will come to you.

Samuel was sent to live with old Eli in the Temple (1 SAMUEL). And, in the middle of the night, a voice came to him: Samuel. And, Samuel got up from the bed and sent to Eli and said: "What do you want?" Eli said: "It wasn't me. Go back to bed." This happened three times, and finally, Eli said: "Samuel, if this happens again, it this voice comes to you, then say 'speak, Lord, your servant is listening.'" Samuel heard the voice again; it came to him. And, God spoke.

I don't know if this means anything to you, but my hunch is that the chances are good that there is some reason that you are listening to God. Keep listening. Be open for the light to appear and for a voice or an idea or a revelation to come to you.

John says: "Look, there he is! The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." It's an epiphany. During this season after Epiphany, keep you're eyes open. Look and you may just see; listen and you may just hear; pray and you may just have an Epiphany. Our God is a living God.

Dave Nichols

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