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The light of healing, hope
January 10, 2011
by Pastor Paul Bortnem, Bethel Lutheran Church, Lester Prairie

Epiphany is a word that means light. It is the day when we celebrate the wise men coming to see the child, Jesus.

He was thought to be 3 years old when they came. I know that doesn’t fit into our traditional understanding, but such as it is, that is what it is.

People in the early church celebrated the Epiphany as the birth of our Lord, but as the church moved west and became strong in the territory of Rome, the Christian folks would worship the birth of our Lord while the wicked Romans were celebrating the winter solstice, thought to be Dec. 25. As the western church expanded through the mission efforts of Rome, Christmas replaced Epiphany as the high point of the church year.

I love the Epiphany season. It has some of the most joyful hymns and, even if it is the coldest part of our year, I celebrate because it is the season when the light gradually returns to embolden the day.

It is also the season when light bulbs come on in our head as we begin to learn anew what this Child, born to Mary, is about to do. For, in this season, Jesus travels through the land and brings healing and hope to the people of Palestine, as well as to the people of Lester Prairie.

This is our work, the work of Jesus, to be people who bring healing and hope through the Word and through the sacraments.

A blessed epiphany to each and all.