Today we celebrate Epiphany. I’ll be honest…as a Baptist I had heard the word before, but never knew what it meant. So I looked it up. Epiphany is the understanding that Christ came for the Gentiles also, as shown in the visit of the Magi. In short, the worship of “I AM” changed from a Jewish religion to a worldwide religion that embraced all people. Worship of the one true God became a matter of relationship, not birth. This change was foretold often in the Old Testament, but many did not realize it. Even today, there are some of us who would limit the reach of God and claim to be His exclusive followers.
Psalms 72:12-14 explains the purpose behind God’s plan for sending Jesus Christ perfectly. “For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.” Today’s world still idolizes the rich and powerful. We read all the scandal magazines and watch the shows that tell us what these people are doing. We hang on their every word as if success in one area gives them expertise in every area. In so doing, we forget those who God would deliver – who have no one to help. We participate in the oppression of the weak and needy by ignoring them when we are at our best and by attacking them with words or actions at our worst. If Epiphany really is the understanding that God opened the door for all people to follow Him, we have a responsibility to demonstrate that Epiphany is for all people. We can begin by caring for those people who are needy and afflicted. We must show those who are down and out the love of Christ. At the same time we must take any opportunity to call those rich and famous people who are oppressing others to repentance. We must show the truth of the Epiphany to those who are the up and out also.
Lord, it is so easy to get into our little ruts and stay there. We stay with the people we have always stayed with. We worship You with the people we have always worshiped with. Grant us the strength and courage to reveal You and Your love to the down and out and the up and out. Give us the wisdom to do that in a way that shows Your love to others.