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Epiphany Continued

This last Sunday, I preached on Epiphany and want to continue that theme. Epiphany is part of the church calendar that many Evangelicals don’t even know exists, taking place between the church seasons of Advent and Lent.

Epiphany literarily means “manifestation” and centers primarily on the Magi narrative in Mathew 2:1-12 (but can also include the events from the Magi to Jesus’ baptism). It has been a meaningful passage in the life of the church for hundreds of years, signifying Christ as the prophesied King of the Jews and that his Kingdom (Reign) is available to all including the Gentiles.

The point I want to draw attention to and build upon, is about of the Kingdom of God and what it means for us to be subjects, ambassadors and builders of the Kingdom. Just as we have become unaware of the traditional meaning of this story in our time and culture, we have also become unaware of the concept of the Kingdom (Reign) of God. And as a result, have lost focus of the fact that we are called, as followers of Jesus, to be builders of the Kingdom.

I think part of the issue exists because our country has a great social system and social net. We have left the Kingdom values of feeding the poor, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, helping the widows, etc. up to the government and have gradually become apathetic towards them. But in doing that, we have also missed something, and as a result are missing out on part of what we are called to do. The church, you and I, as followers of Jesus are called to care for the poor, the helpless, the marginalized, the disenfranchised as a core value of the Kingdom Jesus spoke about and lived through his example. But I think for many different reasons, we remain apathetic towards it.

The problem is that our apathy has turned into atrophy. And not just any atrophy, but “epidemic atrophy.” This state of atrophy has somehow become the cultural norm. But just because it is accepted as normal, doesn’t mean that it is right.

The result of this atrophy is that we often don’t even know how to respond or care. So many of us walk by people of the street and aren’t filled with compassion and even if we are, that compassion (unlike Jesus’) doesn’t lead us to action. Or, we watch news stories of children or adults dying of starvation or AIDS and we are left unmoved. We hear of injustice and instead of being filled with righteous anger like Jesus (example of Jesus clearing the Temple), we ignore it. Our apathy can’t be the way of Jesus… can it?

I think that Epiphany is a reminder of our role in the Kingdom – to be ambassadors, subjects and builders of the Kingdom of God. This reminder to us may not be easy, and it may be difficult to once again begin moving and exercising those atrophied muscles. Like any physiotherapy, it happens through small, and sometimes painful, steps. This physiotherapy isn’t an overnight cure, but as we remain committed to the building process, God will help to bring us there, one step at a time.

I invite you to join me this year and begin the process of physiotherapy as we fight the epidemic of apathy and grow as healthy and productive subjects, ambassadors and builders of the Kingdom of God.

incipiosermo change

As you may have noticed, this site has drastically changed. After doing an evaluation and review, most participants of this site have stated that they would rather read than contribute. So I have decided to consolidate the old site and my personal blog.

If you are interested in the archives from the previous version of, I have put them together in pdf format and you can download it here:

Thanks for all those who particiapted and please feel free to participate on my blog both by reading and making comments.

old articles in pdf format

The following are the links for my past Newsletter Articles that were previously on my personal website:

Engaging Conversation By Asking Big Questions Series

What if’s of Evangelism Series

Santa Vs. Satan

I am not sure where to begin with this picture I found on the web. Someone has way too much time on their hands.

I guess by this guy’s examination I am a promoter of Satan in my house because my kids believe in Santa. Too be honest we play along, just last night I was on the phone with Santa making sure my kid’s lists were in. We also took them to see Satan (I mean Santa) at the mall, they sat one his lap and they got their pictures taken with him.

Now onto something more serious – I grew up believing in Santa, my dad made boot prints in the fireplace ashes and I loved it and still do. My dad showed how much he cared and loved us by making Christmas magical. Don’t get me wrong, we still read the biblical Christmas story and as I grew up I understood why Santa wasn’t real (I don’t think I suffered psychological damage as a result – although others may disagree).

But let’s get down to brass tacks… “Santa” may be “Satan” with the letters rearranged and a sign of commercialism at Christmas, but he is a simply product of the Coca-Cola company and not a vast conspiracy of Satanists (I actually think Satan is much more subtle and deceptive then that).

I think in some small way, I am teaching my kids something about wonder, imagination and belief. They still understand the nativity and we treat Christmas as an important part of our Christian faith and heritage, but I still think Santa is fun and my kids think it is fun. And this year they will get some gifts from Santa and I will eat the Christmas cookies and Coke they leave out and I try and make Christmas magical and meaningful.

And if you disagree, and before you get your shirt in a knot, think about all we celebrate and embrace, even in the most conservative of Christian homes, at Christmas that isn’t that biblical. Christmas trees, gluttony, stockings, and even our nativity scenes with the Magi in it (they most likely arrived when Jesus was two rather then with the shepherds at the manger).

All of that being said…if someone or some family decides to boycott Santa, I respect that. But I have even more respect for someone who boycotts commercialism altogether at Christmas (Unless I usually get a gift from them – tongue and cheek).

P.S. Santa my list still includes: Xbox 360, $$$ for books, Ipod, and a Motorola Razer cell phone.
P.P.S. Santa demolishs Satan on Google Fight (258,000,000 to 13,900,000).