22nd January 2024

The season of Epiphany follows on from the Christmas season. We journey from the celebration of Jesus’ birth – (incarnation – when God became flesh in a little baby) to, and through Epiphany (epiphany – a time of sudden and great revelation or realisation).

While out walking yesterday and I stopped to look at a bunch of daffodils growing in a verge. Later, in our garden, I spotted some snowdrops coming into flower. And it’s only half-past January! These are an image of God in creation. Signs of life springing up from the bulbs in the earth. And a sign that the seasons we experience are moving on. And its important that we experience life in the Kingdom of God as fully as we can.

I’m reminded that we human beings are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). Philosopher, Martin Bűber, offers a deep insight into humanity’s relationship with God with his concept of I and Thou (Ich und Du). He develops the insight and differentiates between I and it.

When we use an object word to describe another person we are not acknowledging our common humanity. I-Thou is a relational and acknowledges that the ‘I’ in me sees and experiences the ‘Thou’ or God in you. We’re made in God’s image and we experience God in each other. Interpersonal relationships are both a privilege and responsibility. Jesus is our role model in humanity, humility, compassion and love shown and experienced in each other.

In the passage from John (John 2:1-11) we read that ‘Jesus did this’ (turning water into wine) as ‘the first of his signs’ … ‘and revealed his glory’ … ‘and his disciples believed in him’ (John 2:11). We encounter the next sign in John 4:54. John makes the first two signs easy for us, as he names them. And he continues to unfold signs all the way through his gospel. Not so much a word-search as an event search. An opportunity to read through John’s gospel and see if you can spot the signs.

And as we journey through this season, let us pray that we experience moments of sudden and great revelation or realisation – an epiphany – and be drawn closer to God and in each other through love. Let us ask God for more of His transforming power in our lives.

With love and Blessings on the Epiphany journey,
Revd Dave