Epiphany

the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it...
John 1.5


Some things just can't be hidden - and shouldn't be hidden.

A Google search on the phrase, "hide your light" came up with many explaining the idiom, "don't hide your light under a bushel." So far, so good. But the first 5 attempts of individuals to explain the idiom were all failures. Don't be shy, don't lack confidence in your abilities and talents, and become powerful and assertive were the tone and tenor of these attempted explanations. It was all about self, about one's own self-manifested luminescence.

The idiom comes from Matthew 5: 14ff:
You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

The light we shine, me be ours to share, but it is not a light that emerges from within us. It is a mandate, an imperative command to provide that which was provided to us through Christ. Jesus said, "you are the light of the world." It is because God spoke it into being through Jesus that it could be so.

Epiphany is about letting the appearance of Christ to continue to shine forth. Not ending with the Magi and shepherds, but radiating outward, infinitely. The word "epiphany" comes from the Koine Greek, ἐπιφάνεια "appearance", "manifestation." This is an appearance, that over the weeks of Epiphany radiates like light moving outward. As we reflect on the stories of Christ's appearance, and the appearance of God among women and men, we have a fresh opportunity to consider where the light of Christ in us is shining.

Each week of Epiphany, I will provide a weekly query. In the Friends tradition, queries are questions for reflection to encourage us to live out the convictions we share.

For this, the first week of Epiphany:

Do you, as the way opens, share the principles of Christian faith with non-believers in simple, clear words? Do you witness to your Christian/Mennonite faith by letting your life speak (letting your light shine)? Can you help to make non-Christians feel welcome and a sense of belonging in your meetings for worship?

Let the light of Christ shine!