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Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is my favorite holiday. But I think Epiphany is vastly underrated, because while we tend to place all our focus during the season on December 25th, it is Epiphany that illuminates the mysteries of the Advent & Christmas seasons.
Also known as Three Kings’ Day, today is the feast day that celebrates the revelation that Jesus is the Son of God. Epiphany means manifestation, as God chose to manifest Christ to the Gentiles through the three kings—also called the Magi. I imagine that by now, you’re very familiar with the story of Epiphany. But I’d still recommend you go read Matthew 2:1-12 that begins with the wise men from the East who followed a star to Jerusalem in search of the king of the Jews, so that they could worship Him.
But let’s not breeze through this story one more time, Slackers. Before you read it, ask yourself, “What is the new epiphany that Christ is trying to reveal to me?”
Because this is almost unbelievable: God the Father has a Son, not a child that He kept in Heaven with Him, but one that came to earth. Emmanuel, God with us, took on our humanity to save us and fulfill all the prophesies in the coming of Jesus Christ. Of everything that has happened since the beginning of time, all the way until the end with Jesus’ Second Coming, this is the one event that completely changes everything. Everything.
If you need a reminder of how exactly Christ changed everything, I recommend you go back to Episode 12 where Ann Koshute discussed Adam & Eve. The gist of that being the devil tried to destroy everything with his lies, but “Jesus reinstated the beauty of God’s image in all of humanity in the simple gift of Himself.” How perfect that we followed up that message with Episode 13 on the Nativity of Christ, where Tammi spoke about Jesus being born into our mess and the wonder of it all. The Holy Spirit is good y’all.
But honestly, all the episodes of this season, plus every single one of them before, all bring us back to Jesus Christ. If He wasn’t the Son of God, then why would the saints have lived to love, serve, and lay down their lives for Him? If Jesus isn’t who He said He is, there would be no witnesses. No Centurion with the sick servant from Matthew 8, as he never would’ve bothered to ask Jesus to only say the word for him to be healed. And no woman hemorrhaging for 12 years in Luke 8, who touched the fringe of his garment and was immediately healed. Or countless other stories, miracles, healings and restorations from Biblical times until today where the solitary fact of our knowing the Son of God has completely transformed our entire lives.
Knowing He is the Son of God changes everything. But we must consider what more God wants to reveal to each of us, since epiphanies are revelations. Just knowing something doesn’t bring about a change in us. It’s when we live it out, that’s when we are changed. That’s when the revelation of Christ brings the manifestation of Him through our words, actions, behaviors, and encounters.
If you’re new to our ministry, welcome. Our mission is restoration. And before each new year, we pray about the theme the Lord wants us to share throughout the year. Last year was “His Heart, my Home.” And for this year, 2023, the Holy Spirit gave us the theme of “Wholeness in Christ.”
This came after hours of reflection on John 5:1-18, the healing of the paralytic, which is one of the Scripture passages I used for a chapter of the book I’m currently writing, an infertility devotional. The man in John 5 was ill for 38 years and laid paralyzed next to the pool of Bethesda, which became healing waters at certain times. And it was there Jesus went to Him and asked, “Do you want to be healed?”
As I reflected on that, I was like, seriously? Of course he wanted to be healed—look at where He is, who He has become, and how many decades he has suffered! The man’s frustrated reply shows how helpless and forsaken he felt. God knew what He was going to do, and how that man felt, so why even ask? Remember, God gave us free will, so He waits for our permission before He does any work in us. And while He can heal and make us whole, we must be involved in the process of restoration. But just to the extent that is necessary, since we can also impede the Lord’s work and get in the way if we’re overly involved. The key is to surrender the work to Him, and through prayer, the Lord will let you know what to do and when.
So back to the paralytic. Do you remember what Jesus did next? He told him to do something that would be unthinkable for a man who hadn’t walked for years: rise. And He healed him at once.
This is the kind of Savoir we serve, friends. A Man who can make all things new in an instant after 38 years of suffering. And a God who intimately knows every thought and detail about each of us, with the deepest understanding of what we need, exactly when and how we each need it.
So, what new epiphany does God want to reveal to you? We’d love to discuss that at our LIVE online event on Tuesday January 10th, our 3-year Anniversary – which you are invited to! Members of our team and some of this season’s guest podcasters will be there, so please join us. Check out the notes for the link to join.
While we love Saints for Slackers, our final episode on Thursday will be a replay of that live event. But I truly hope that you’ll continue journeying with us past episode 20, as our Little With Great Love team sets out to discover Wholeness in Christ this year in new and deeper ways with our community. We want to engage more directly with our community as we do, so be sure to subscribe to our social media and email list to keep up with how the Holy Spirit manifests that throughout 2023.