Friday, 6 January 2012

Revelation from above?

Now the time when we remember the arrival of the wise men at the place of Jesus’ birth, the feast of Epiphany apparently used to celebrate four moments in Jesus life – his birth, the visit of the magi, his baptism and the wedding at Cana. I have been reflecting on what links these moments and their “Theophany” – how they reveal the true nature of God. 

Epiphany means revelation from above, but it has struck me that one of the things which links the four events remembered is precisely that this is not a revelation from above, but that Jesus, God, takes the lowest place: in a stable in poverty, as a vulnerable baby in need of the care of others, going down into the river taking the lower place, and putting himself in the place of a servant. 

My ancient Greek isn’t good enough (being non-existent) to suggest an alternative name for the feast; but perhaps “Revelation from Below” would be a more appropriate name for this celebration. Perhaps it is not when we look up, but when we dare to look down that we see the revelation of the true nature of God.

A new king is coming!
Long awaited hope of change
Some wait for glory and chariots of gold
But this king was born in a stable dirty and dark
To an outcast teenage mother
Far from home

Some chose to look down
And they saw God

New hope in a vulnerable baby!
Worshipped by those from far away
Some search for him in the centres of power
But he broke through their assumptions
Of palaces, grandeur and pomp
A baby in a stable

Some chose to look down
And they saw God

And God took on flesh!
Living life with human joy and pain
Some hesitate to accept his closeness
But he chose to join us in humanity
To the earth and deeper still
Down into the waters

Some chose to look down
And they saw God

A feast where all are welcome!
The drawing in of those who are out
Some give of what they have
But He calls them to give of what they haven’t
Pouring out the joy of inclusion
From the place of a servant

Some chose to look down
And they saw God

Are we busy gazing skywards
Searching for God in the great out there?
Are we looking to the heavens
And feeling all alone?
Are we waiting for our epiphany moment
A revelation from above?

But some chose to look down
And they saw God

Dare we?


  1. Thanks Steph. Quite a challenge.

  2. This is great - and fits so well with what I am preaching about this Sunday.
    I'll send a little by email
    Thanks again for your reflections - they always bring an insight and a challenge!