Epiphany Season

Epiphany season is like Advent, often forgotten and overlooked, especially since it is sandwiched between Christmas and Lent.

This year it might be good to look at the Epiphany season, because it is the longest that it will ever be. The number of Sundays after Epiphany varies each year depending on the date of Easter. Some years there are only four or five Sundays, but in 2011, there are nine Sundays after Epiphany (Jan 9, 16, 23, 30, Feb 6, 13, 20, 27, Mar 6).

Epiphany (“showing forth”) season reveals who Jesus is, starting with the visit of the magi (Jan. 6) and culminating in the Transfirguation. That revelation of Jesus continues even today through the witness of the Church.

I think it significant that Isaiah, the primary Old Testament reading during Advent (Series A), is also the primary Old Testament reading during this season. Particularly on Jan. 16, the reading is Isaiah 49:1-7, of which 49:6 is critical in the book of Acts.

Isaiah 49:6
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
                to raise up the tribes of Jacob
                and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
         I will make you as a light for the nations,
                that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

The last two lines are used by Luke to see the fulfillment and extension of that prophecy in Luke and Acts: Luke 2:32, Acts 13:47. See David Pao (Acts and the Isaianic New Exodus, Baker, 2002) for further details on this.

Just some thoughts at the beginning of this great season.


Author: exegete77

disciple of Jesus Christ, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, teacher, and theologian