Do you remember the feeling you have when you discover something new and wonderful? I have a lot of those memories from Childhood. I can remember the first time I caught a tadpole that had started growing legs. I had been told that tadpoles turned into frogs, I even believed it but all of a sudden I had faith in what I thought I already knew. This moment in which you suddenly see or have an understanding in a new or very clear way is called an epiphany. For me, as I looked and truly understood about this transformation; it was a very different kind of truth. Truth that I could place my faith in.
This moment of new understanding is called an Epiphany. For Christians Epiphany is often thought of simply as the season between Christmas and Lent. That is kind of like looking at person's birth and death. Another faith oriented meaning of Epiphany is the understanding that an epiphany is a moment when God is revealed to a human being. Our lessons during the Epiphany season follow this understanding closely. When the disciples began following Jesus they had no idea what to expect. As he taught them and lived among them their experience of Jesus gradually change from a theoretical knowledge to a truth that was deeply rooted in personal experience and provided deep roots for their faith.
Here are some examples of this kind of epiphany. As Jesus preached and taught his disciples about the faith he put it into practice. He not only preached about avoiding evil, he cast out evil when he was confronted with it. The people’s response was telling. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, "What is this? A new teaching- with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him." Mark 1:27 We have all heard about Jesus the Son of God just like the people of Galilee he was trying to reach, the question is have we seen or experience him in a way that is truly faith forming? Walking on water, calming storms and raising the dead are not things most of us have any experience with. So how do we experience and epiphany in our lives, or is this just something we read about?
There are many ways God has been revealed to the people of God that are not quite as spectacular or rationally overwhelming as some of the things I already mentioned. These things arise out of our deeply seated belief that Jesus is alive and through the Holy Spirit still revealing himself to us today. For me one of the most important epiphanies in my life was not even my direct experience. My Brother led a troubled life and as a result was an angry person and freely shared that anger making a lot of people around him unhappy. Unable to hold a job, because of this he drifted through life without purpose. Convinced by his wife and friends (not me) he attended a revival and answered the altar call so he could "receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands, as evidenced by speaking in tongues." I don't know what he experienced exactly, though we talked about it many times. What I do know, and this was my epiphany, is from that moment he was a different person. His life truly lived out God's promise of new life. I saw the words of Scripture lived out in front of me just as the disciples did. Just as Paul had said; If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 2 Corinthians 5:17 I truly don't believe that walking on water would have been nearly as impressive.
It not only changed my brother's life, it changed mine. This is not to say that everything in his life or our relationship was perfect, it was not. But the truth that Jesus Christ changes lives is for me a truth that is beyond denial. As Luther says in his Catechism; "This is most certainly true."
Epiphanies like the disciples experienced are still a part of our life and faith. As we work through the disciples experiences during the season of Epiphany let us see them with new eyes and use them as a way to recognize those Epiphanies in our own lives as well. It is my own fervent prayer for all of us that our eyes might be opened as we see the living Christ revealed in our lives in fresh new ways.
Do you have a question regarding a ministry taking place at Resurrection or would you like to volunteer in a particular area? The Committee spokesperson in that area would be glad to hear from you:
Church Council: Pam Powel, President
Phone: (925) 830-1916,
Child Development Board: Karen Severud
Phone: (925) 415-2926
Children and Youth Ministry: Candi Llano
Phone: (510) 915-7878,
Evangelism Committee: Nancy Bliss
Phone: (925) 875-9627,
Phone: (925) 321-1336,
Fellowship Committee: Debbie Hacker
Phone: (925) 785-9327,
Finance Committee: Nick Miller
Phone: (925) 828-1862,
Property Committee: Ken Adams
Phone: (925) 828-6888,
Social Ministries Committee: Carol Zientara
Phone: (925) 484-1207,
Stewardship Committee: Charles Peterson
Phone: (925) 829-6215,
Worship Committee: Mary Gagliardi
Phone: (510) 276-3158,