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Upsala Presbyterian Church has re-opened for in-person Sunday worship services (10:00 A.M.).
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The season of Epiphany begins every year on Jan. 6th and lasts until the start of Lent (Ash Wednesday). Three miracles, recounted in the Gospel accounts of Jesus Christ, are key to understanding the season of Epiphany. The first Epiphany miracle tells how the Wise Men, or Magi, follow the light of a new star to Bethlehem and the Newborn King, Jesus. The meaning of the word “epiphany” is “manifestation,” or “revelation,” or “new understanding.” And the theme of the first Epiphany miracle is that God, who promised to send the Messiah, or Savior, to the Jewish people, actually intended that the Savior should be manifested or revealed to all people everywhere. And the Wise Men are the proof of that, since they themselves were not Jews. The Wise Men were not Jewish; they were non-Jews, they were outsiders or Gentiles. And that is a good thing for us, since we are not Jews either: we are Gentiles. And yet, God has seen fit to make manifest, to make known, to reveal, to us, too, the possibility of salvation by means of the Christ. And the second Epiphany miracle occurs when Jesus is baptized (just as all of us Christian believers are baptized) and the Holy Spirit descends upon him, and a voice from heaven is heard to say, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." And the third Epiphany miracle occurs when Jesus saves a wedding feast when the wine had run out. Jesus lavishly and abundantly turns water into wine, and saves the day.
When the Magi first looked at that wrinkled little babe, Jesus, in the manger, they received new understanding about the way in which God is at work in the world. At Upsala Presbyterian Church, our prayer is that God will continue to surprise and delight us all, casting away our shadows, and letting us shine bright with love, and grace, and hope for a broken-down world.
What might we be if only we tried? What might we become if only we'd listen?
Only the person who has experienced it can believe what the love of Jesus Christ really is.
(Bernard of Clairvaux)