Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Advent Words 2023 ~ Word 2: Epiphany


Advent Words 2023
Word 2: Epiphany

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:11-13

If you saw this word on the calendar for Advent Words and thought I may have mixed up my holidays, don’t worry, I know it’s the Advent season! The word “epiphany” has many uses. When we suddenly have a burst of understanding about something, we call it an epiphany.  And there is also the holiday that some churches celebrate on January 6 to commemorate the wise men, or Magi, visiting the Christ child. Epiphany also appears in today’s passage, but it’s not quite so obvious.

In the New Testament the Greek words epipaneia (noun) and epiphaino (verb) mean manifestation or appearing and refer to the first and second coming of Christ. In Titus 2:11, he has appeared (epiphaino) refers to Jesus’ birth and life. Jesus Christ appeared as the grace of God bringing to all the salvation God promised. The angel proclaimed to the shepherds at the birth of Jesus,

I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you: he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11

John declares, “From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:16-17

The grace of God has appeared in the person of Jesus Christ. This is the first epiphany!

But Paul goes on in his letter to Titus that we are still waiting for another epiphany; “the blessed hope – the appearing (epiphaneia) of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). Jesus will appear again when he comes to judge the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1) and establishes God’s kingdom in its fullest expression.

Charles Spurgeon once said, “We stand between two epiphanies. Behind us is our trust; before us is our hope. Behind us is the Son of God in humiliation; before us is the great God our Savior in his glory. “

We live in this present age between two epiphanies: trusting in the grace of God's salvation through the life and death of Jesus Christ on our behalf and focusing on the hope of glory that will come to those who believe in and wait for His promised return. Grace to glory!

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1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed learning a new perspective in Titus of Epiphany. I have only ever thought of Epiphany as being a day in January to celebrate the star and the wise men. The change of focus to Christ's first appearing and His second coming is thrilling.