Epiphany Symphony

Epiphany (Gk: epiphaneia) is Sunday, January 6.  On this day we commemorate the appearance of the wise men in the East who followed a star to Bethlehem.  But Epiphany is much more than a single day on the calendar.  It is the beginning of a complete score of divine harmony that God is conducting throughout history to save all people from their sins.  It is the down beat to an upbeat symphony of redemption through Christ our Lord.  In fact, you could call it the Epiphany Symphony, because that's exactly what it is.
 
Like a grand conductor, God is making music for everyone in the audience to hear.  He is putting everything in creation back together again.  Through the message of the Gospel we can see how discord is driven out by harmony, bitterness is overcome by sweet melodies of patience and kindness, and sadness is replaced by songs of hope and new life.  This is the dawn of a brand new era, a time for peace on earth and good will toward men.  This is a once-in-lifetime chance to bring God's good tidings of great joy to the whole world.  The sounds of everlasting life can now be heard.  The Word has become flesh and is living among us (John 1:14).  And this is his Epiphany Symphony.
 
What we heard at Christmas was just one page of the total score recorded in Scripture.  Beyond the manger after the chorus by the Galilean shepherds and the grand exit by the visiting Magi, we hear two wonderful solos of praise by Simeon and Anna.  There is a verse of astonishment sung by Joseph and Mary who found their twelve-year-old in the temple adding even more to the Epiphany Symphony.
 
But the song isn't over yet.  Just when most conductors would have taken an intermission, God keeps going to one of his favorite spots on the world stage to see his Son Jesus baptized in the Jordan River.  Then in a series of three-pete victories over Satan in the wilderness, he is off and running for the first miracle at a wedding in Cana.  His disciples who believed in him could only wonder as he was manifested as the Great I Am, including the Bread of life, the Light of the world, the Door, the Good Shepherd, the Resurrection and the Life.  At the Transfiguration they were on top of the world, but when the crescendo ended the way to the cross opened before the one who had come to serve, not to be served.  And with an amazing finish, the Word that became flesh to be with us as our Immanuel, was crucified.
 
But the song still isn't over.  And there is much more to the Epiphany Symphony.  On the third day Christ rose from the dead!  Talk about unique! We have the same hope for life in Christ when we come to the final stanza.  In the meantime, we have much to do.  There is a harmony of sound in the Word and Sacrament ministry that God has manifested here in our congregation.  We have been blessed beyond measure with life's greatest treasure, a gift from God wrapped up in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, a real person to have and to hold from this time forth and even forevermore.  And his name is Jesus.
 
Your pastor and friend,
Pastor Tom