EPIPHANY IS NOT an all-at-once revelation of God’s presence with us in the person of Jesus Christ. The entire world was not made aware of Jesus’ arrival at the precise moment it happened. The Magi didn’t make their trek to see the Christ child until he was a toddler. Often Jesus’ own disciples didn’t know who he was when they first encountered him. And little if any positive change occurred in the sociopolitical climate for Israel. The reveal of the Messiah’s identity, and the change that would come with it, happened at a painfully slow pace.
In February, we continue the journey of revelation. We recall stories from the Hebrew Bible and Christian Testament of longing and resignation that give way to revelation and encouragement. We see how the faithful through the ages held onto faith as they faced great threat. We see how, despite the prosperity of the wicked, they somehow recognized the hand of God at work.
Perhaps we find ourselves proclaiming to a people who thought a new administration or other promising change would usher in more favorable conditions. Perhaps we personally struggle with how to hold onto hope, not to mention how to encourage our communities to do it. These Epiphany season texts hold us in our lack of clarity and waning faith, reminding us that we are not alone. While we await a substantive change, may the text in some way help our unbelief.