A sudden understanding of reality or the meaning of something
A literary technique
Christians corner the market…
Having an epiphany is more than suddenly understanding that getting organized will actually save you time or that doing your homework helps your grades. It often conveys a spiritual meaning. As a matter of fact, Christians have a corner on the epiphany market. Since before 361 AD, the word “epiphany” has mostly referred to the realization that Jesus is divine.
World adopts epiphany….just the word, not Jesus
Early on, the epiphany referred to instances in the life of Christ where his divine authority was manifested (his birth, the visit of the magi, his baptism, and his first miracle). Now it’s mainly connected with the visit of the Magi. However, it’s also been adopted by the general populace to indicate any realization of the divine or a new understanding of something.
The new take on epiphany makes it out to be an “aha” moment bringing you closer to reality and truth. That all sounds great, except that truth these days is becoming increasingly subjective. I’m not so upset about that if you’re meaning truth as “perspective”. It’s in this world I get to say “you hurt my feelings,” and the other person doesn’t get to just ignore me because they think I’m wrong. Well, they can, but then they aren’t coming into my reality. That’s all about understanding one another, and I think that’s good.
The thing I struggle with is when your epiphany says that a rock is really God or any kind of faith is a sign of ignorance or that there is no God. I struggle because I respect you. And for most of my friends, if they say they’ve had an epiphany, I listen. And when their epiphany contradicts what I believe to be true, I pause.
A friend led me here…
About five years ago, I read somewhere about Christ-like characters who predate the birth of Christ. The argument went along the line that if there were characters who predate Christ then maybe his story was just the conglomeration of these previous stories and shouldn’t be trusted. I paused at that. For a friend of mine this had been eye-opening information, and he “aha’d” himself well away from any kind of faith in Jesus as Lord. My first reaction was to shout “heresy” and stomp away, but then that wouldn’t have answered any questions. No epiphany, just dogma. And I really think God wants us to know the truth about all of this stuff.
Don’t fear the questions!
We shouldn’t be afraid of the questions, and it’s really not about who can yell louder. It comes down to what you will believe. . .to how God has shown you he is real…to your own epiphany.
Get your own epiphany.
I waded through those arguments and found truth. God is real, and I believe Jesus to be God incarnate and the Bible to be the most reliable source when it comes to ancient writings, but don’t merely take my word for it.
He will show you the truth.
No, to have your own epiphany about the almighty God of the universe, you will have to go on your own journey, and I have no doubt he will reveal himself to you, but the choice will still be yours about whether or not to believe him. An epiphany is the revealing of truth and of God, but the faith part is all yours.