The beginning of a new year is always a good time to wonder about the good things of God, and what kinds of things we will do in his name. Certainly the celebration of Christ’s nativity, the song of Nicodemus and the visit of the magi at Epiphany say something about this child born to us is different. He will change the world, change the people of the world, and God’s people in the world will become the instruments though which God will accomplish many good things.
Yet, as the celebrations of Christmas and New Year’s Day fade into memory, several will develop what is known as the “post holiday let down.” The blahs of January, if you will, can kick in and the early darkness of mid winter afternoons can take its toll. Perhaps this is why we need to pay attention to our liturgical calendar. The celebration of the magi’s visit, the day of Epiphany (Jan. 6) begins the season of light! Through Christ, light has come into this dark world.
Throughout Epiphany we will read from Luke’s gospel the stories of Jesus’ baptism and Transfiguration. These two stories serve as bookends to the season of light. In each we hear the promise of God that Jesus is the one who is to come into the world. God speaks to us through the clouds in a loud voice reminding the world “This is my beloved Son!”
During Epiphany we hear in John’s gospel the story of Jesus’ first miracle. At the wedding at Cana, when the wine for the celebration runs out, Jesus brings light and joy to the wedding celebration by providing wine that is superior to any other. As we receive the cup of blessing each Sunday, we too receive the light and joy of Christ as he comes to us in the Lord’s Supper. Jesus brings to us forgiveness and the promise of life eternal in God’s kingdom.
Finally, toward the end of our Epiphany celebration, we will hear again the story of Jesus calling his first disciples. Light has come into the world; God’s long awaited Messiah is with us, and now Jesus bids us to leave behind our former selves and follow him. As we walk with Jesus we begin to see the goodness of our God, the one who shows only love to those on the margins of society. Throughout the season of light, God forms us and empowers us through the Holy Spirit to be the hands of Christ, caring for those who are in our midst.
You see, there really is no good reason for Christians to suffer the post holiday let down. The January blahs have no place within the Church, for light has come into the world. Through His Son Jesus Christ, God calls us to be reflectors of this light. God equips and empowers each one of us for a life of discipleship, in order that we may tell others the good news of God’s salvation through Christ Jesus.
This year, if you have not done so in the past, please consider the ministries of your congregation to which you might serve. Consider a position of leadership, a member of a ministry team, join the choir, or perhaps volunteer as one who would visit those unable to attend worship. Consider ways to reflect the light of Christ, so that all may know the peace and joy of God’s love.