Did you know that between Christmas and Lent (which leads up to Easter) is the season of Epiphany?
Epiphany means “manifestation” and it is the official season for proclaiming the identity of Christ. Epiphany refers to the time when the wise men came to Bethlehem to worship Jesus, where the son of God was manifested to the world. Epiphany is a season of worship, as the whole world follows the wise men to find and honour Jesus.
The morning prayers for the season of Epiphany begin with Psalm 100, a short psalm that helps us to orient our day by entering into God’s presence.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
3 Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5 For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures for ever,
and his faithfulness to all generations. [ESV]
Every morning for 6 weeks those who follow the daily prayers read this Psalm. It is an invitation to join with the community of God’s people in celebrating God together.
Verses 1 and 2 call us to join with the church daily in singing praises to God, and to serve Him gladly with our hands.
Verse 3 teaches us that God created us as His people, and we belong to Him. This means that He knows us, He cares for us, and He sees everything we do—it matters to Him.
Verse 4 reminds us to start the day by entering into God’s presence in prayer, and to give thanks to Him for everything He has given us—rain and sun, life and breath, family and friends, and our daily food, clothing and shelter.
Verse 5 speaks of the goodness of God, and how only He is everlasting. Other loves may fade and human relationships may fail but the love of God will always be with us, from this generation to the next. He will remain faithful to His promises throughout all the generations. This reminds me that when I trust in what this world promises—the good life, wealth, love, happiness—it will lead to disappointment because they cannot last forever. But when I trust in God, I trust in His everlasting nature and good character, which means His promises will never fail.
God’s promises to Israel were fulfilled when He sent His Son, Jesus, into this world. Jesus in turn, promises that He will one day return to this world. This is Epiphany, let’s follow the wise men in finding, worshiping and honouring Christ!
One way to do that is to start reading Psalm 100 every morning this week, and let it help us to enter into God’s presence and set the tone for each day. Try it with a friend over WhatsApp and see how it goes!