As a person who preaches every week, I’m always on the lookout for sermon material. What I’m looking for is some activity, experience or observation that can reveal a little of what the Holy Spirit wants us to hear. As you might already know, much of my material is autobiographical. But, I don’t usually seek this material out. Rather, I live my life and then notice what might be helpful is this week’s sermon. Not every one of these notes ends up in a sermon, and many that are in the first draft of my sermons do not make it to Sunday morning. Yet, I’ve discovered that the more I share my faith, the more sermon material I can recognize in my every day life. And this sermon material is not merely a good hook to make you think I’m a good preacher. Instead, the material is way for me to see how the gospel of Jesus Christ is with us every day of our lives.

We’re currently in the “season after Epiphany” and will be in that season until Ash Wednesday on February 26th. The word epiphany means “appearance or manifestation” and describes what happened to the magi when they visited Jesus. God revealed to the magi that Jesus was here and how the presence of Jesus made a difference in their lives. When the magi returned home, I do not believe they were the same people they were before they saw Jesus. Instead, the fact that Jesus was in the world invited them to see their world (and their lives) in a new way. The month of February is a good month to look for the epiphanies of Jesus in our everyday lives. These epiphanies can seem small, but they are a symbol of the relationship we have with God. One epiphany that I like to invite people to use is to see how the washing of your face can remind you of the baptism you’ve experienced. The water on your face can feel simple, but the remembrance can change everything.

One of the things I’ve noticed about searching for epiphanies is that it gets easier the more you do it. The noticing of Jesus does not mean that Jesus is suddenly doing more for you. Rather, Jesus is already there – we just need to work our epiphany- seeing muscles a bit to see how God’s love is all around us. As your epiphanies grow, I hope you’ll take a chance to share those moments with your family and friends. You never know how your epiphany might help others find Jesus, too.