Sunday Message for 9 January 2022: “Encouraging Epiphany”

Welcome to a second celebration of the Christian holy day of Epiphany, the revealing of Jesus’ divine favor. Today’s scene is Jesus during his baptism (Luke 3:15-17, 21-22). A key verse reveals the voice of God, whose words proclaimed Jesus’ status:  “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22b). Jesus’ baptism was a rite of passage symbolizing his initiation into public ministry.

An epiphany can take different forms. The first part of the epiphany occurred when the wise men from the East visited the baby Jesus and proclaimed his messianic status.  This week, the voice of God also represents an epiphany in that the Almighty’s voice affirms Jesus’ divine connection.

In everyday speech people refer to experiencing an epiphany, which suggests a dramatic insight. Have you experienced an epiphany?  Many people claim to have had an encounter with God, but personal perception makes epiphanies a highly subjective experience.  Whether you’ve had a dramatic encounter with God or not, it’s helpful to broaden how you define God’s presence. The stakes are high because without the spirit of the Almighty you’ll needlessly limit your holistic wellbeing (health in body, mind & spirit).

Do you feel that God is saying something to you? Do you feel awakened to the heavenly realm? If you feel unfulfilled or incomplete then you can pursue wholeness through God’s presence. You can build awareness that leads to a closer walk with the Almighty. Humans are designed to thirst for a spiritual reality and there’s no better source than God, from whom you obtain the soul food that satisfies your spiritual appetite.

Religious observances such as performing rituals, going to church, and other outward behaviors are only a means to an end (and not ends in themselves as some people widely believe). The goal is connecting to God, engaging the intensely personal spiritual connection that mere religion can’t achieve. This means that you’re invited to develop your inner journey, which is an intimate relationship with God resulting in a transformed life.

There’s no better time than now, at the start of 2022, to prioritize and get things right. Your quest for closeness with God is worth the struggle because without it you’ll likely be incomplete. Remain open to spiritual realities and you may experience an epiphany of God’s love. Spirituality is often overshadowed by the physical and emotional demands in everyday life. Ironically, those who resist spiritual awareness may feel unsatisfied yearnings that can’t be met in other areas.

Do you feel hindered? There might be interference such as your internal messaging. You may have conditioned yourself not to sense God because you feel unworthy, unqualified, or unable. You might have been taught that God is too distant and inaccessible. A crucial step on the road to wholeness is to stop repeating negative messages by replacing them with thoughts of promises and possibilities. Read the Psalms, for example, and you’ll find supercharged encouragement. Also discover the writings of people who’ve managed to enhance humanity because of their inspiring insights and life example.

Embrace a positive, joyous attitude that encourages spiritual health and vitality. Embrace God as your transformation agent. If you truly seek then you shall truly find.  Walking with God is a great way to live the most satisfying life. Therefore, be resolved to find God and in doing so all your other goals will gain proper perspective. Prepare yourself for the best year ever, one in which God will multiply your blessings through 2022 and beyond.    –Reverend Larry Hoxey

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