Theophany: When Christ Who is Our Life Shall Appear

by Fr. John Reeves

In the space of twelve days, we celebrate the whole of God’s manifestation to the world: Who He is and who He calls us to be. God revealed Himself in the flesh as a young babe—God and man—in Bethlehem: “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

At the River Jordan, God now reveals Himself to the world as Father, Son and Holy Spirit: “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” And the Spirit, in the form of a dove confirms the certainty of that word. (cf. John 1:31)

These are the two key doctrines of our Orthodox faith: Jesus is fully God and fully man. And God is triune: One God, three persons. Taken together, the Incarnation and the Trinity reveal Christ’s will for us, that we might be one with Him, as He and His Father have been for all eternity. St. Paul speaks of this, pointing to the Second Coming “when Christ Who is our Life shall appear, then shall [we] also appear with Him in glory” (Col. 3:4). This is the whole goal, the entire hope of our Christian life, to become like Christ, living in Him and He in us.

Blessing homes anew each Theophany, consecrates once more our whole existence in preparation for Christ’s second appearing, His coming again: worshipping the Holy Trinity “Who has saved us.”