In other parts of the world, today is known as “Little Christmas.” Traditionally, on January 6th, the three kings, or Magi, arrive in Bethlehem and pay homage to the Christchild with their mysterious gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Today, people still dress up as kings and give each other gifts. They eat kings’ cake and have parties that flow into the night. In America, most people are done with Christmas by now. Not only do we not give gifts, dress up, or bake cakes, we do not even acknowledge what goes on in other places. Unfortunately, in 2022, January 6th is now associated with the insurrection at the capital last year. How very sad!
Epiphany defined means a “sudden manifestation of the divine in the ordinary” and, when aware, should be happening to us all the time. Use of the word has grown in popularity these days to mean a sudden realization or enlightenment. It’s like a flash of mystical insight when there is no doubt, even for a few seconds, that God is close and real. Obviously, these moments are fleeting. As soon as an epiphany happens, the flash is gone like a sunset and no amount of alchemy can conjure it up again.
I have had many epiphany moments in my life. Some bigger than others. The latest one happened recently when I was raking leaves in my backyard and suddenly felt overcome with happiness over not having to return to work after Christmas. Having been a self-proclaimed workaholic all my life, this was a profound realization for me. A hurtle, really. I always mused about what I would be like when I no longer let work define me and truth told, was afraid to look into that abyss. To feel so utterly free of incumbrances is an epiphany of the highest order. It is a gift, like gold, frankincense, or myrrh, that is unexplainably and paradoxically perfect.
May you be open to the many splendid epiphanies all around you.