Happy New Year! The liturgical season of Christmas continues this weekend with the celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany. As a child I loved singing “We Three Kings of Orient Are,” and today I still enjoy the long slide on the “Ohhh–ohhh” when the songs transitions from a verse to the refrain, “Star of Wonder …” I also like the way the music of the refrain sort of rocks back and forth, which to my imagination always has been associated with the swaying of the camels as they trudge across the desert. What I don’t like about this song is stopping it before the last verse, which deals with the Resurrection of the Lord, leaving Him “sealed in the stone cold tomb.” In this case it is important to sing the entire carol or you end up with very screwy theology.
The advantage of celebrating this Feast of the Epiphany, with a big “E,” is that it can help us notice the epiphanies, with small “e,” in our day to day life. An epiphany is simply an appearance or a manifestation of God. God can reveal Him/Her/Its self to us in many different ways. A loving embrace from a family member can reveal God’s care for us and be an epiphany. A verse of Scripture we read or hear that strikes us suddenly and like never before can be an epiphany. A beautiful sunrise or a starry night can be an epiphany of God’s magnificence. A sense of peace achieved in prayer is an epiphany of God’s healing power. A movement of our heart to forgiveness is an epiphany of God’s power. A downpour after a long drought is an epiphany of God’s goodness. Just about almost anything or event, approached in the right way, can be an epiphany. Because it is not the object or occurrence which contains the epiphany, but rather we who see it who contain the epiphany, if we can open ourselves to perceive more deeply. God is constantly revealing God’s self to us.
Even singing “We Three Kings of Orient Are” loudly and off-key, if perceived rightly, can be an epiphany of God’s constant patience and care for us. So sing out!