Views from the Pews: Having an Epiphany moment

Flowergate United Reform Church''w131417b
Flowergate United Reform Church''w131417b

The Christmas tree and the decorations have gone. Maybe some of us removed them before the official ending of the 12 days of Christmas.

I wonder how many of us knew or cared that January 6 was the Feast of Epiphany, traditionally a celebration of the bringing of light to the world in the embodied person of Jesus.

Everything about Christmas is to do with the bringing of light to the world, but Epiphany suggests something much more powerful.

It is something that shatters our old beliefs and transforms our way of thinking – a blast of light, a deep sea change in our thinking and being; so much so that we speak of people having ‘epiphany’ moments, moments when the direction of our life changes because we see something really clearly.

I heard someone describe an ‘epiphany’ experience as being “something between a flash of lightening and a tidal wave.”

I’ve had two or three of them in my lifetime and each one has been in circumstances where I’ve been weighing a lot of stuff – difficult stuff – over a period of time.

So I`d say an ‘epiphany’ moment happens for me when there’s been a long period of confusion, anxiety, maybe even unhappiness.

It’s known that some of the great scientists have epiphany moments when they’ve been working on something very intensive ... and then, suddenly, in a flash, the insight comes!

When you have an epiphany moment, problems suddenly resolve themselves. It is like a shaft of light.

It feels like divine inspiration because you don’t feel as though you have done anything yourself to reach your solution. It’s as though it comes from some place outside you. But I believe it only happens when there’s been a real struggle within yourself.

Epiphany moments can bring a wonderful sense of well being and comfort. Sometimes we can be blessed by that happening. But often they are moments when we recognise we have a path to take that will be painful and challenging.

The epiphany part – the light made manifest, the awakening – gives us that clarity that makes it possible to do what has to be done.