For most of January we are in the season after Epiphany Ė the climax of the Advent/Christmas season. The season after Epiphany actually extends from January 6, the day of Epiphany, to Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent leading to Easter. The term epiphany means an appearance or manifestation, especially of a deity. In the Western church Epiphany is celebrated as a commemoration of the manifestation of Christ, especially to the Magi, and also at his baptism and at the wedding feast of Cana. The ELCA lists the principal themes of the season as the revelation of Christ to all nations, Jesusí baptism in the River Jordan, Christ as the light of the world, the public ministry of Jesus (including Jesusí first miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana), growth in a Christianís baptized identity. The seasonís gospel readings focus on numerous events in the early life and ministry of Jesus. The hymns we sing also refer to the early life and events of Jesus. Take a look through the section of our hymnal, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, that contains hymns related to the season after Epiphany. Think how the messages of those hymns relate the stories and experiences of the early ministry of Jesus. Then look ahead and consider how these hymns prepare and inform us as they lead us into the next season of the Church Year, the season of Lent.
— David McNease