ST. BEDE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
1609 Elm St. Forest Grove, OR
We strive to know Christ more deeply and bring others to his redeeming grace.
The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” (John 1:35-36, NRSV)
In this passage from John for the second Sunday after the Epiphany, Jesus is recognized for who he is. Nowadays when someone says they have had an “epiphany” it means that they have a sudden realization of an important truth, or solution to a problem. That isn’t far from what an epiphany meant in this passage from John. Epiphany means “manifestation” in the religious context. As a holy day, Epiphany is meant to signify human realization of Christ manifest among us. In the Episcopal Church, January 6, the day of Epiphany, is the time when the Magi came from far away to see the baby Jesus. (The Magi were probably not kings and we don’t actually know how many of them came by the way.) Epiphany signifies our beginning in understanding the divinity of Jesus and the universality of a gospel that would cross borders and cultures, as the Magi were foreigners.
Historically known as “twelfth night,” Epiphany comes at the end of the Christmas season or the “twelve days of Christmas.” Epiphany was also formerly part of a triduum including the Lord’s baptism and the miracle at Cana, three early ways that Jesus’ divinity was made manifest to the world. In year C of our Lectionary Cycle we read all of these readings as a vestige of that celebration.
St. Bede will celebrate the Feast of Epiphany in a few different ways. On January 5, technically the day before Epiphany we will have our annual Epiphany pageant at our 10 a.m. Sunday service, in which the children of the church will enact the story of Christ’s coming among us, complete with costumes. Also, Eldena and Kerry VanderZanden will once again host their annual Epiphany party on January 5 beginning at 5 p.m. at their home. See the announcements for more information.
Epiphany matters because coming to know Jesus at times comes as that “aha” moment, but we are given these moments in stages. Over time we may not only begin to recognize that Christ has come to live and die as a human, but also know times when we especially recognize God at work in our midst in other ways. As we mature as Christians, we start to piece together these epiphanies to construct a narrative of God’s presence in our lives.
During our stewardship campaign this fall many of us took time to
write thoughts about gratitude. Gratitude is a kind of epiphany
when we recognize God’s work in our midst. Below is a word
cloud of our responses.
So thankful to be sharing these amazing epiphanies of Christ’s
manifestation among us with you all.
MESSAGE FROM OUR VICAR