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(©2011 PTC)

It is Epiphany.  I know it’s not the day for Wednesday’s Word and Picture, but I cannot pass up the opportunity to pass on a little information on this special day of the Christian year.  From Wiktionary:

“From Old French epiphanie from Late Latin epiphania from Ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια (epiphaneia, “manifestation, striking appearance”) from ἐπιφαίνω (epiphainō, “I appear, display”) from ἐπί (epi, “upon”) + φαίνω (phainō, “I shine, appear”). English Epiphany (of Christ) since the 14th century, generic use since the 17th century.”

The manifestation or appearance of the star that led the Wise Men to find the Christ, Epiphany is the special day that celebrates the incarnation of Christ to all people – including the gentiles – a true and perhaps the original “ah-hah!” moment. The word has come to be used in a secular, lower case “e” sense as well – when we arrive at a pivotal point in our lives, when it is made clear what we must do, how we feel, where we must go, and/or in what direction.  Most of us can remember such a moment or perhaps many moments in our lives.  I think the older I get, the more things are made clear to me.  The feeling of epiphany never grows old, however, despite its growing frequency.

On the heels of my loss of the wrist wallets, then the recovery of one, and the failure to find the other, (see both of yesterday’s posts), I have come to the realization that those incidents for me were God-incidences (which is how my husband and I refer to coincidences), that have led me to yet another personal epiphany.  Today  I must accept that the black wallet is gone.  If I am meant to find it, I will, but until that time, I must learn to be more careful in how I treat those things that are important and necessary to me, and get on with my life.  So be it.  It is wonderful to know that I have such wonderful blog-friends out there in the blogosphere – thank you all so very much for all your wonderful ideas.  They all proved helpful in their own way, and should I ever lose or misplace something again, I have a great file of ideas on how to go about finding it!

Now, I want to share with you parts of two wonderful posts about Epiphany and epiphany from my pastor’s (Chuck Wilson’s) blog, “Mountain Musings.”

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The story of the wise men is really a story of spiritual pilgrimage.  It is about being willing to leave that which is familiar in order to arrive at our deeper spiritual home. It is about seeking something that we don’t fully understand until we stumble upon it where we least expect it and coming home changed.  If we are at all awake during this season of new beginnings, we might sense ourselves being invited to a new journey of our own-a journey that in some way involves leaving familiar territory in order to seek and find new ways to open ourselves to God’s presence even (and perhaps most especially) when we feel that our circumstances won’t allow for it.

The season of Epiphany is an invitation to follow Jesus into the ways of gratitude and joy. We are no longer bound by the dissatisfaction of our consumer culture that tells us to keep striving for more stuff, more success, more money, more of everything for myself. Instead we are invited to learn to live in the joy and contentment of seeing every moment as a gift from God. The Apostle Paul encourages us: “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice… Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand.”(Philippians 4:4, 6-7) Again Paul exhorts us from his letter to the Church at Colossae, “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:4-5)”

In closing, I want to share with you the following quotation from Ann Voscamp’s book, “One Thousand Gifts.”

“I have lived pain, and my life can tell: I only deepen the wounds of the world when I neglect to give thanks for early light dappled through leaves and the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July… and all the good things that God gives…. rejecting joy to stand in solidarity with the suffering doesn’t rescue the suffering. The converse does. The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world. When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows…..

The only real prayers are the ones mouthed with thankful lips. Because gratitude ushers into the other side of prayer, into the heart of the God-love, and all power to change the world, me, resides here in his love.” (p. 58, 60)

I am so grateful for my many blessings – for the constant and overflowing abundance of enough. . .

(wc 899)

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