An illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure is the definition of epiphany…the iconic light bulb going off over your head!  Christians celebrate Epiphany on January 6, which is 12 days after Christmas, marking the end of the Christmas season while noting the beginning of the Carnival season, Mardi Gras.  It is the celebration of the visit of the Magi, or the Wise Men, to the Christ Child, announcing Jesus’ physical manifestation to the Gentiles. That’s a definite bright light bulb going off over our heads, and planted in our hearts, that Jesus came to earth for us all to be saved! 

The wise men followed the star searching for the new King of the Jews. They brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh…odd gifts for a newborn.  But they were seeking a King, not THE King, so their gifts seemed practical and worthy although diapers and onesies would have been gifts Mary might have had in mind.  Scripture tells us that after they found Jesus, they departed for their own country.  How, and if, they shared this epiphany they had personally experienced we are not told.  They followed The Light, they found The Light, but did they become A Light to exemplify Jesus’ love to others?

Epiphany, an illuminating discovery…do I illuminate for Christ?

Howard Thurman (November 18, 1899 – April 10, 1981) was an influential African American author, philosopher, theologian, educator and civil rights leader who penned this heart provoking poem that I have come to deeply appreciate and strive to practice daily:

The Work of Christmas

When the Song of the Angels Is Stilled
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:
     To find the lost,
     To heal the broken,
     To feed the hungry,
     To release the prisoner,
     To rebuild the nations,
     To bring peace among people,
     To make music in the heart.

Make music, illuminate, attract people into His Light, my beloved church, as the work of Christmas and Epiphany begins.

Dancing in The Light,

 Kim

Kim Eller, District Lay Leader
Northern Piedmont District

Are you a-coming or a-going?

Ever feel like you don’t know if you’re a-coming or a-going?

New beginnings sometimes create a whirl of activities…there are decisions to be made, new opportunities to seize, behaviors to adapt that will refresh and revitalize, letting go, clinging to…

The beginning of a new career, a new home, a new era, they each generate their own swirl that may tentatively produce a quandary of not knowing if you’re a-coming or a-going.  To my delight, I have discovered that words can be as mud fuddled as me in not knowing if they are a-coming or a-going, as you see below:

We are in an extraordinary era.
A bad mood may bring you doom.
Be prepared to pay the consequences if you’ve lived like the devil.
Too many nips can make you spin.
The right tool can provide lots of loot.
Keep discreet if you gonna peek.
If you’re reined in, you might be denied good times.
An emir does not tolerate rime on his windows.

Words a-coming AND a-going! A word that when reversed is another word! Cool!!

New beginnings, fresh starts, do-overs, whirls of activities spinning out of control at times overwhelms and bewilders. Right on cue, through that cloud of commotion, if you listen, comes the soft reassuring voice of God and His promises…

Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away your judgments,
He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; You shall see disaster no more.
In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak.
The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:14-17 NKJ

My Bible entitles this passage as Joy in God’s Faithfulness.  I say it’s a relief! An affirmation that whatever the circumstance, God is in our midst!!  Always. And he’s not just in our midst but quieting our fears but best of all, He is rejoicing over us with gladness and singing!  Rejoicing over me!! Mind boggling! Heart wrenching. What heartwarming news Zephaniah brings us as we end one year and head into the new one.

Are you a-coming or a-going?  Yup. In this new year with potential confusion of being unsure if you are a-coming or a-going, be like the words…either way, you’re good especially knowing that God is in your midst.

Whirling with God,

Kim

Kim Eller, District Lay Leader
Northern Piedmont District