Only two more days in the Christmas season. Friday we will take down our Christmas tree and lights. We will pack away our advent wreath for another year and replace the poinsettias on our mantle. I always struggle with this because it seems that suddenly we replace the promise and joy of Christmas with a drab and uninviting plainness.
But in the midst of this plainness I start to think about the need to get outside and get going with the spring garden. Heaps of catalogues arrive in the mail and my fingers itch to get down into the dirt and make something happen. It had not occurred to me before but this garden activity seems like a very appropriate one for the season of Epiphany, that season when we are all encouraged to get out into the world and tell others about the Saviour whose birth we have just celebrated.
Making something happen to bring new life into our world is the spirit of Epiphany. We are called out into the world not just to talk about Christ but to reveal him to others through our deeds and actions. The garden is one place in which I both connect to God and work to help others connect to God as well, but it is not the only place. One of the challenges I have been thinking about over the Christmas season is How do I reveal Christ to others through my life? I want this season to be a true epiphany for myself and those around me.
Here are some other suggestions that I posted a couple of years ago:
There are many different ways that you could reveal the message of hope to others during this season. Consider doing one of the following during the weeks of Epiphany
- Do you have new neighbours? Are there newcomers to your church? Invite them over for an evening to get better acquainted
- Is this an opportunity to reach out to people in your office or workplace? Consider providing breakfast for those you work with. If you are feeling particularly adventurous you might like to make this a weekly or monthly event.
- Is there a university close by with international students? Invite a small group of students home for lunch or dinner. This is a great way to get know about another culture and the students will be very eager to learn more about your culture and religious traditions.
- Is there a senior care facility near where you live? Take your children over for a visit. Get them to read a story or sing a song for the residents. Consider taking some of the elderly people out for a trip.
- Is there a special way in which your children could reach out to others at their school or play group? Talk to them about the Biblical story and ask them to come up with one way that they could reveal the hope of God the their playmates.
What are your expectations for the season of Epiphany?