Summary: When th elight comes on you realy know that God is reachign out to you.
Clap on – Epiphany
Welcome to the season of Epiphany. Epiphany is a fun word to say. Not every one knows what it means. So let me give you a secular definition and see if you get it.
The dictionary gives this description: “a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.”
That sounded complex to me. We might say it is the “light coming on” when we understand some point.
It is communication. “Wow, I could have had a V8!”
I have epiphanies all the time. They are usually over small things.
- My car tag needs to be paid…today!
Epiphanies do not hallways happen for good realization and they don’t necessarily come at convenient times or places. In fact sometimes they hit as a complete surprise like when Blue light suddenly pop on behind you as you are driving down the road.
Sometimes there is a mix of emotions that come when an epiphany strikes your brain. Renee’s birthday……….Was Yesterday!
So what is all this talk about epiphany? It is Epiphany Sunday.
The dictionary defines that event also: Epiphany (Using a Capitol E) a Christian festival, observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day.
This is the Sunday when many denominations celebrate the Magi’s story in Mathew. The song the 12 days of Christmas comes from this festival. We have left the season of advent on the Christian calendar and are now in the season of
“Wow, Christ came to the Gentiles” or more importantly,
“Wow Christ came with a message from God to ME!”
So this morning we are looking at some of Paul’s description of the Epiphany. No he does not say the word he just describes the event.
Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
So Paul reminds the readers of this letter what he learned by revelation from God. He has been chosen by God to pass on the secrets, the plans of God. He does not claim to be the sole carrier of the message; he says that God is revealing this news by way of the Holy Spirit to apostils and prophets. Those are positions set out in Corinthians as leaders in the church.
That is a pretty big responsibility. That is an important job.
What were his qualifications to share this news, to have this important role?
In Acts we hear the story where, Paul experiences an epiphany on the road to Damascus. He saw mysterious blinding light and heard a voice. He had an event where he knew he was talking to the Lord. And it changed his life.
-- He went from being a persecutor of Jewish “followers of the way” to an encourager. And the strangest part, he was especially encouraging to Gentiles.
He said it like this, “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.”
Epiphany is the understanding of a mystery. Perhaps not how or why, but understanding that through the gospel the gentiles are heirs with Israel…in the promise of Christ Jesus.
Oh, tom we already know that.
We know about old Paul and how he was turned to the right path by Jesus.
We know he preached to the Gentiles.
Tell us something we don’t know!