Be gentle with yourself this Epiphany season

Maybe the ordinary and divine comingle like coffee with cream.

Photo by Yeh Xintong on Unsplash

In my experience, the liturgical season of Epiphany is either a forgotten holiday or it’s the Christian version of ‘new year, new me’ — that commercialized self-help energy we see everywhere this time of year. It’s sort of a detox from all the secular Christmas crazy we got caught up in: too much stuff, too much cheese, too much holiday cheer.

It can also be a do-over for Christmas, a revisiting of what is important, a second chance to understand the incarnation. After all, the magi showed up a little late, so can we. I know that may sound sarcastic, and maybe it is, but dear reader, it is also said with love.

Be gentle with yourself. Maybe you are trying hard to love the Christmas season you had and not the wonderland you had hoped for and dreamed about. It’s human to experience a post-Christmas letdown and the desire to start fresh in the new year. But both these things can be overwhelming, and I think this holiday hangover feeling is stronger this year. I’m calling it post-pandemic jetlag. It’s like catching up on real life after being in survival mode for the better part of two years.

A Christmas do-over with a focus on spirituality might be exactly what is needed in Epiphany. Maybe you are trying to love the ways God shows up in your life, even when it’s not in the ways you wished divine inspiration would arrive. We don’t all hear angel choruses singing of glory and giving directions on where to go to see it for ourselves. Some of us wander in the darkness with only the pinpricks of stars to light our path. But do not be discouraged, seekers of the divine, because Christ reveals himself in all sorts of unexpected ways.

In this ordinary time between Christmas and Lent, Epiphany reminds us that God is revealed in seemingly everyday moments. And yes, it’s possible that these moments are coincidences and of no significance. But they could be sneaky Jesus with his up-to-something-smile dancing through our lives. Maybe it’s both. Maybe the ordinary and divine comingle like coffee with cream.

Keep your eyes and hearts open because God continues to appear in new ways each and every ordinary day. Alleluia and Amen.