I have always been fascinated by the way things look different at night, and even different on different nights. I took this picture late one evening last week. The moon was bright behind the clouds. Mist has settled amongst the trees and on my camera lens. It was luminous.
Luminous means “full of, or shedding, light especially in the dark.” It is a good word for Epiphany. Epiphany reminds us that signs of the divine light of Christ can be both restrained and subtle as well as glaringly obvious. As we remember the luminous star that guided the Magi through their journey, we are invited to find the subtle luminosities that offer us guidance today. We are encouraged to discover God’s luminous presence in the ordinary events of our lives: the greeting of a friend, the snow resting on tree branches, the satisfaction of a warm meal.
Light and likeness imagery often go together in Scripture. While we each share in the likeness of God, the Magi’s encounter with Christ also spotlighted their differences, in home, wealth, and livelihood Imagine their arrival with lavish gifts of frankincense, gold, and myrrh in the midst of the humble nativity scene. Differences in home, wealth, and livelihood makes clear that all kindsof light can exist in the same space, even if they seem contradictory.
Epiphany invites us to witness the manifestation of Christ’s light in all things, especially in the people God places in our paths, and the Earth that we steward. And not only to witness, but tofind beauty and remarkability in it and humbly offer our unique gifts in reverence for God, others, and the world. As we continue to notice these signs, big or small, there is an abundance of light and likeness to be found in our lives. A luminous presence fills us and reminds us, once more, that there is more than enough, an Epiphany counterpoint to the unrelenting messages of scarcity in this world.
Questions to ponder
Where do you find luminosity in your life?
How will you allow for “more than enough” light to brighten your life this year?
What light do you offer?