I live in a part of the United States which experiences long winters – usually consisting of below zero temperatures and copious amounts of snow. Since we are currently isolating, the sting of winter isn’t quite as uncomfortable as it has been in the past. We don’t necessarily have to clean the snow off our cars, because chances are we aren’t going anywhere. We can get by with shoveling enough snow so the mailman can access our mailbox. We don’t need to bundle up in layers upon layers of clothing.
If we work outside the home, there are still those obstacles to overcome, but it seems that this pandemic has made us into a band of hermits, eager to congregate with fellow hermits and have a cup of coffee together. Our sights have been blinded by the winter of our discontent.
Light is something that is in short supply in my neck of the woods. We take Vitamin D supplements to fill that need. Days are shorter. Sunlight is lacking and we’re stuck with a huge case of cabin fever.
One thing I’ve noticed about winter is the tricks that light can play on us. Frozen crystals create snow dogs. A prism of light bounces a rainbow off the snow and reflects off frozen lakes. Trees are filled with a hoar frost that creates a mystical appearance – like being in the land of Narnia. There is beauty in light. It also can blind us at times.
When the Magi went in search of the new King, they were guided by a light in the sky. This led to all kinds of historical events, including the slaughter of the firstborn male of each household. That star of brilliance would lead them to a house where they would find the Christ and lay their gifts before Him – gifts of gold (befitting a king) – frankincense, which is used in religious rituals to indicate purity – and myrrh, which is an embalming oil. Their gifts would be pondered in Mary’s heart and would come to mind as they became apparent in Jesus’ life.
Epiphany is indicated as a season of light. Brilliant, blinding light which envelopes the entire world. When we celebrate this special day, we are witnessing the Light of the World – Jesus, our Savior and King. He has opened heaven to all of us, through the gift of His life, death and resurrection.
Dear, Lord, Jesus, You came to earth to live among us – to show us how to live and to bring the light of your salvation to mankind. Our sins put us in darkness, but you shine more brightly than any star in the heavens. Your light is perfect. May it continue to illuminate our hearts throughout this year and prepare us for your second coming. In Jesus name, I pray. AMEN!