“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under the sun”  Ecclesiastes 3:1

Just as we observe the weather seasons of the year, now being the least favorite of them all—winter, with it’s harsh, cold blasts of snow and dark overcast skies; the church observes its seasons, each with their own themes and qualities bearing a message of God’s Word for our lives.  The beginning of the Church’s liturgical year was last month with the season of Advent leading up to Christmas and the celebration of the birth of Christ.  Advent is a season that begins in darkness but proclaims hope in God’s promise of the Messiah.  “The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light; on them light has shined” the prophet Isaiah proclaims. The light of the star leads the Magi to the Christ child, and brightens the night into day.

The season of Epiphany continues the theme of light. Epiphany means “revelation”; the revealing of Christ as the savior of the whole world. The day grows brighter in the light of God’s revelation, and the readings of scripture in Epiphany unfold the early ministry of Jesus and the new hope revealed in Jesus’ baptism, preaching, miracles, calling of the disciples and increasing impact in Galilee and the surrounding regions. The world begins to respond to the light of God; new growth of hope and life and fresh beginnings emerge from the barren world.

The theme of Epiphany is expressed not only in the scripture readings but in the décor and music of the church worship services.  Green is the color of the paraments and wall coverings; green the color of life. The music and hymns reflect joy, hope, light, and rejoicing in our calling to witness and ministry. Check out the Epiphany section of hymns in the hymnal:

Light Shone in the Darkness
O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright
Songs of Thankfulness and Praise
Jesus, Come! For We Invite You
Arise, Your Light Has Come
Alleluia, Song of Gladness
I Want To Walk As A child of The Light
And a favorite of mine—Shine, Jesus, Shine
Epiphany is a Church season that comes for us in the midst of our winter doldrums. Spring is so far off; there are no visible signs.  Christmas cheer and décor long put away. But here in worship, we gather and celebrate the marvelous things God has done, and the gift of our calling to share that joy with others.  Albert Camus once wrote:
In the midst of winter
I finally learned
That there was in me
An invincible summer