We are walking through the season of Epiphany at the moment. Epiphany began on the 6th January and takes us through to Lent. For our family Epiphany is not simply the day we need to take the Christmas decorations down but a time of celebration and gift giving. It is the day we give each other our own gifts as we remember the wise men encountering Jesus. A day when non Jews recognised Jesus as King. A glimpse of Jesus coming for the wider world.
Bible readings for the season of Epiphany focus on the life of Jesus; visiting the temple, His baptism and many of the parables He spoke of regarding the Kingdom of God. Readings that sometimes can get side lined in light of His coming and birth and of His death and resurrection. By giving attention to the accounts the gospel writers have included of Jesus both as a boy and as an adult entering public ministry we are invited to have our own moments of epiphany as we come to meet Jesus in day to day life as the Son of God. He is uncomplicated, direct, attentive to His Father and to those who cross paths with Him. He is confident not in Himself but of who He is in God, of what God has asked of Him. But He also gets tired, He needs time out. He is fully human and fully Son of God. He walks and dwells with us. And so my epiphany this season has been in meeting Jesus in the day to day life He has placed me.
This season has also seen the gathering of congestion bugs, tissue mountains and sleepless nights that have taken up seemingly permanent residence in our home. But in it all Jesus has been gently revealing Himself to me not aside from all the colds and that which come with them but in it all. He gets my tiredness and the reality that taking time for oneself rarely works out. Crowds, small people, always find you out. He has shown me the need for an uncomplicated life, to hold fast to that which God has called us to, and let Him show me the good works He has prepared for me to do in light of that. And for now those good works are mainly rooted at home in being there for Mark and supporting him in his studies, the care and training of two small boys, cooking, laundry, craft projects, reading stories, endless requests for toast and marmite etc.
This does not mean I do not have dreams and desires for being elsewhere, accomplishing world changing tasks. But God has blessed me here and for this season this is where He is revealing Himself to me and I don’t want to miss that. Contentment and envy are two big challenges for me and I have to be careful of areas of temptation so as not to detract from the epiphany that God is working out in our family. The individual epiphanies we each are having as we walk with God but also as a family and being able to glimpse into the epiphanies He is bringing about in the lives of our boys.
While the church calendar is not set in stone in Scripture itself, I am thankful for the church year which gives shape and meaning to the seasons I find myself walking through. They help me look at the day in day out tasks with renewed hope, love and purpose. It’s not an overnight solution to discontent and envy but a day by day, meal by meal, book by book, laundry load by laundry load epiphany that leads me through the day and lets me see the moments of simple joy that come our way.