In a funny little battle of wills with my wife, who would like to take down all our Christmas decorations the day after Christmas, and myself, who would prefer to keep them up the Twelve Days of Christmas, our outside angel came down today. Our tree made it until the Eleventh day of Christmas this year. It was the only thing left besides the angel until today. My wife is still winning, but I’m gaining a little ground.
Today is January 6th, Epiphany in Christendom, celebrating the arrival of the Magi from the east as recorded in Matthew chapter two. They came to King Herod’s court in Jerusalem, then on to Bethlehem, becoming the first gentiles to have an epiphany — the realization and revelation that Jesus was the promised Messiah, God in human flesh, the prophesied King of the Jews.
I attended a men’s Bible study this morning on the Book of Revelation. Our teacher noted the difference in appearance between angels coming from the presence of God and those fallen angels released for a time from the bottomless pit. That got us thinking about how life-changing it is to behold God.
I immediately thought of the Aaronic blessing, where the LORD told Moses to instruct Aaron, the High Priest, how to bless the sons of Israel. It’s a blessing repeated over believers for more than three thousand five hundred years now. “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).
Similar verses came from men in the class. “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (I John 3:2 NKJV).
We are told in the Bible that no man can look upon God’s face. “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” (Exodus 33:20). But we can look upon Jesus, as the Magi did, and start to live differently. Jesus said that’s why He came, to show us the Father.
I also think that every time a believer, with the help of the Holy Spirit, catches a glimpse of God while reading the Bible or by a revelation elsewhere, they become a little more like Him. “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (II Corinthians 3:18).
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (II Corinthians 4:17-18).
Happy Epiphany! And may you have many more epiphanies in 2022. Godspeed and Shalom.