An epiphany on the way home

Christmas celebrations are done although decorations are not yet stowed away (yeah that’s me). The New Year’s dinner of black-eyed peas and collard greens is well digested by now. Students return to school indicating the end of winter break (oh but there is snow on the ground in VA) and we settle into the reality that the holiday observance is over. But wait there’s more!

The season of ADVENT is commonly associated with the Christian church during the month of December. Its focus is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, known as the First Advent.  Advent prayer season, beginning late November through December 24th is marked by humble devotion and commitment, prayers of submission, prayers of deliverance, prayers for the lost and it is characterized by a theme of promise.  During Advent, believers are called to spiritual reflection, moments of anticipation and an attitude of expectation.  Many churches partake in the fasting, prayer, and reflection that is commonly identified with the ADVENT season.

There is another observance of the Christian calendar that is not so widely publicized but follows ADVENT. It is referred to as EPIPHANY. In the story of the birth of Jesus, the arrival of the three wise men is believed to have happened days after his birth. The journey of the wise men to Bethlehem, though undetailed in history, notably took some time. That period is represented in the Christian calendar as twelve days following Jesus’ birth. WAIT…. that is TODAY, January 6!

The familiar version of the story of the wise men is that they inquired of King Herod to find Jesus. When he heard of their quest, he asked them to return to him and report when Jesus was found. But when the wise men accomplished their task, they did not return the report to King Herod. What happens to the wise men afterward is unknown but we are told they returned home. They set out to find someone that they had only heard of.  They find him, gave him their gifts and then returned home enlightened to a world of new possibilities because they KNOW THE KING. It was an illuminating discovery. I would imagine that if we had a book from either of the wise men today, we might rightfully title it, AN EPIPHANY ON THE WAY HOME. Their journey was not to merely have heard of but to KNOW JESUS and they came to him with the intention of serving him with treasure.

Photo credit: Free Bible Images and www.LumoProject.com

Can you imagine the change in their lives? I can. I suspect we all can. Think of yourself as the wise men or maybe even the little drummer boy.

I have no gift to bring

Pa rum pum pum-pum

That’s fit to give our King

Pa rum pum pum-pum

Rum pum pum-pum

Rum pum pum-pum

Shall I play for you

Pa rum pum pum-pum

On my drum

We are all gifted with treasures. Some of us, like the little drummer boy, know that we have them, have used them but didn’t know its real purpose until our moment of EPIPHANY.  Some of us, like the wise men, have the gift and are reserving it in search of PURPOSE.

Our journey on this earth is PURPOSE. We are endowed with treasures to make the world aware of the greatness of our KING. NEWS FLASH!!! Stop searching for PURPOSE. Realize now that the Epiphany has taken place and you are WISE MEN (gender inclusive). Walk in purpose on the way home (heaven).

I challenge you today to ACT on the promise in this season of EPIPHANY.

THESE ARE YOUR ACTION ITEMS FOR YOUR EPIPHANY OBSERVANCE.

Write down your gifts. (If you don’t know, ask your friends and family to share what you do best.)

Write a confession that commits those gifts to God. Reciting Matthew 5:16 is a good start.

Ask God to give you goals for the new year that share your gifts with the world.

Start the year with fasting and prayer.

Set your intentions for 2018 for your personal development, wellness, spiritual development, and journey attainments (things you desire to accomplish in 3-5 years).  

Then quiet yourself. Seek the will of our Father regarding these vision points.

I will be participating with my church in our annual 21-day Daniel fast beginning tonight at midnight. (Find out more via Pastor Jentezen Franklin’s resources). Every year this is a blessing to me and my family. I will be sharing ways you can involve your family in the discipline of consecration here on the blog from 7JAN – 28JAN. No matter how young or old they are, every family member is able to participate during the time of fasting.

I would love if some of you would share what you discovered after you complete your exercise.
I encourage you to think on this season as the fulfillment of the promise. Accomplish the work that God has commissioned for you.  “To whom much is given, much is required”.  

HAPPY EPIPHANY!!!!!