My Forever Epiphany

Today is epiphany, a special day for Christians.

In case you don’t know what that is:

Epiphany, also called Theophany, is a celebration of God manifesting as the baby Jesus and revealing Himself to the world. The holiday also marks the day the Magi, or the three kings, visited the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. Jesus’ baptism is also celebrated during Epiphany. The holiday is also sometimes known as Three Kings Day.

Parade Magazine, Jessica Sager

We take down our tree today. This is the second year in a row we’ve left it up past Christmas, and the reason I decided to start this tradition might shock you.

My life changed for good on January 6, 2021, when a boatload of professed conservatives and evangelical Christians committed the insurrection of America’s ‘sacred’ spot.

Maybe I needed that year to be a giant wake up call. “Live!” it shouted to me. “Believe the right things!” it screamed. Realizing the insurrection happened on Epiphany and that Christians participated?! Shocking.

That day, I looked over the history of my Evangelical faith and saw that it had been on the wrong side one too many times. I didn’t want to continue to be on the wrong side. In the words of the late great Dr. King, it was “too great a burden to bear.”

I want to love like Jesus.

Last year felt pregnant with possibilities and it delivered. They weren’t manic or desperate. Instead, the years was a throwback to good years before, a year to simplify life and REST. To remember how good God had been to me. To remember what I’d been through and how far I’d come.

I’d messed up some big things. Some big things had been messed up for me. But I’d forgiven and had been forgiven. God is good.

As I take down my tree today, I’ll look at the ornaments from days gone by, some over forty years old, and I’ll find a sense of peace–wistfulness, too, I’m sure–but definitely peace. The clock keeps ticking, I and as a Christ-follower, I believe it will tick until or unless God chooses to stop it. I might be gone by then, and I might not, but whatever the case, I’ll be fine. My family will be, too, as will the world. All will eventually be fine, as long as we strive to love like Jesus.

The piece of the puzzle that was missing was found in 2022. I didn’t need to talk anymore. I didn’t need to continue posting my thoughts and views to “prove” other people wrong. I didn’t need to be on one side and hating those on the other. Those behaviors were their tactics. Mine only needs to be:

Love God, love people, love my lot in life…Love me.

See you soon,

Toni

My man and me, Christmas 2022

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