“While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.” Luke 2:6-7 CEB
Epiphany. According to Meriam-Webster's online dictionary it means:
(1): a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something
(2): an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking
(3) a: an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure b: a revealing scene or moment
I've always wanted to use that word. Well, the other day I had one - a sudden, illuminating realization. What fun!
Sitting in the car in the Wal-Mart parking lot, waiting for Dan to come out of the store, a van pulled into the space beside us. Of course, there was nothing unusual about that.
I paused in my knitting, curious to see who would get out of the van. The first one out was a tall, lanky teen boy. In the front seat was another teen girl.
Because it was dark, the dome light was on so I could easily see into the van. There in the back, unfolding themselves to stand up and crawl out were three more teens. I think there were 5 all together, plus an adult.
Suddenly I burst out laughing because I realized that's exactly what my daughter's van would look like in about 10 years as her 7+ kids grow into their teen years. The 12 passenger van they have now which holds all the children plus 2 adults with room to spare still has room for #8 who will be arriving in February. BUT it will definitely feel like a sardine can when they all start hitting puberty.
God took an ordinary, everyday moments of life, and illuminated it, causing me to suddenly sit up and take note about a life truth - my grand babies won't be little forever. I can just imagine him sitting on his throne chuckling to himself - "Ah. Now she gets it!"
To them it was life as usual on the hillside. I can imagine they often looked up at the stars and marveled at God's creation. Suddenly, the stars came alive, taking on the form of angels, telling them of God's plan to bring hope to the world through the birth of a tiny baby.
Most people didn't even notice it, they were too busy with their everyday lives to even look upward. But out in a field, shepherds saw angels. Their minds were suddenly illuminated and they understood the meaning of those revelations. So they came to worship - not just an ordinary baby, but a newborn KING, Emmanuel, God with us.
Thank you Lord for the epiphanies of our lives. Help our eyes, ears and hearts to be open to them. Amen