Building Hope: An Epiphany for 2013

“An Epiphany for 2013”

A blessed, healthy, and peace-filled year is prayed for you, my dear friends. I pray that you will seek earnestly, His grace and love.

I was amazed as I experienced the many emotions that filled me this past Christmas …

· Joy over numerous blessings, tangible and intangible
· Sorrow over pain & loss
· Sympathy for the 23 children killed, their families and other friends who died this month of December
· Hatred for the cruelty and evil in this world
· Hope knowing my daughter would eventually get over the realization that Santa is not real
· Fear that she would hate me for “lying”
· Relief that I could spend Christmas Day in my living room starting a new tradition
· Disappointment that change is inevitable
· Anxiety in the earthly tasks required to “celebrate” Christmas
· Peace in knowing He is Lord over my life

At times the flurry of feelings we experience can elevate us to unrealistic expectations or the depths of despair and depression. But I actually had an Epiphany!
I can handle all of these emotions and more because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” (NLT Phil 4:13)

WOW! What do we do when these emotions flood over us without Christ?

The word Epiphany is defined by Merriam Webster’s dictionary as: a (1): a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2): an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3): an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure b: a revealing scene or moment

The Magi, “Wise Men” or Scholars, as Eugene Peterson describes them, had a sudden revelation of the “ESSENTIAL”, the nature or meaning of life: the Christ Child was to be found and worshipped. They were to “Look for Him, Find Him, and Praise Him!”

The original Epiphany can be found in Matthew 2:1-12 (the Message)

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem village, Judah territory – this was during Herod’s kingship – a band of scholars arrived in Jerusalem from the East. They asked around, ‘Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth. We’re on pilgrimage to worship him.’ When word of their inquiry got to Herod, he was terrified – and not Herod alone, but most of Jerusalem as well. Herod lost no time. He gathered all the high priests and religion scholars in the city together and asked, ‘Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?’ They told him, ‘Bethlehem, Judah territory. The prophet Micah wrote it plainly: It’s you, Bethlehem, in Judah’s land, no longer bringing up the rear. From you will come the leader who will shepherd-rule my people, my Israel….’ Instructed by the king, they set off. Then the star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time! They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh.

The highlighted words are my prayer that the scholars, intellectuals, deficient and defiant, lonely and hurting, rich, and poor, and all who do not know His love, will have an Epiphany this upcoming year.

I’m praying you will share this with family and friends to let them know that they do not have to live by their emotions, rather experience them and let God use them to make us stronger and more intimate with Him. As the Lord God, pursues you, let Him reach you and reach out to Him.

Anna Marie

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