The Epiphany, 2021 Edition

Please take a moment to read all the lessons appointed for use on this, the First Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B. The Homily for today, 10 January 2021, follows the lessons from the Holy Bible.

The Collect
Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Old Testament
Genesis 1:1-5
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
The Psalm
Psalm 29
Afferte Domino
1 Ascribe to the Lord, you gods, *
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his Name; *
worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
3 The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
the God of glory thunders; *
the Lord is upon the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is a powerful voice; *
the voice of the Lord is a voice of splendor.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedar trees; *
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon;
6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, *
and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord splits the flames of fire;
the voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; *
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
8 The voice of the Lord makes the oak trees writhe *
and strips the forests bare.
9 And in the temple of the Lord *
all are crying, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sits enthroned above the flood; *
the Lord sits enthroned as King for evermore.
11 The Lord shall give strength to his people; *
the Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.
The New Testament
Acts 19:1-7
While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They replied, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” Then he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They answered, “Into John’s baptism.” Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied— altogether there were about twelve of them.
The Gospel
Mark 1:4-11
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
***
The Homily
Today marks the first Sunday after the Epiphany of Christ. For those not familiar with Sacramental and Liturgical forms of Christian worship, please allow me to explain.

Epiphany is celebrated by both the Eastern and Western Churches, but a major difference between them is precisely which events the feast commemorates. For Western Christians, the feast primarily commemorates the coming of the Magi, with only a minor reference to the baptism of Jesus and the miracle at the Wedding at Cana. Eastern churches celebrate the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan. In both traditions, the essence of the feast is the same: the manifestation of Christ to the world (whether as an infant or in the Jordan), and the Mystery of the Incarnation. [1] The incarnation of Christ is a central Christian doctrine that God became flesh, assumed a human nature, and became a man in the form of Jesus, the Son of God and the second person of the Trinity. This foundational Christian position holds that the divine nature of the Son of God was perfectly united with human nature in one divine Person, Jesus, making him both truly God and truly human. The theological term for this is hypostatic union: the second person of the Trinity, God the Son, became flesh when he was miraculously conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary. [2]

Therefore, the feast of The Epiphany you could say, is a celebration of the day that the people of Earth became aware that God had become flesh in the form of Jesus Christ. This day is celebrated in the West, twelve days after Christmas.

However, the word epiphany, has an alternative secular meaning. Merriam Webster online dictionary offers the following:

A usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something, an intuitive grasp of reality through something (such as an event) usually simple and striking, an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure, a revealing scene or moment [3]

The Feast of The Epiphany of Christ, traditionally celebrated twelve days after Christmas just happened to coincide with another epiphany, the day that the Congress of the United States confirmed the Electoral College naming Joe Biden President of the United States. I say that 6, January 2021 will be remembered in history as a day in which we received an epiphany, a sudden realization, because as we watched helplessly, the American Republic that has withstood challenges—both external and internal struggles for more than 245 years—was defeated and through the hands of tyranny and deceit we were given to the Communists.

In the weeks and days leading up to the November election, numerous members of the Charismatic movement told how through prophetic visions, God had revealed to them that Donald Trump would be reelected by a wide margin. For many, a second Trump Administration seemed like a sure thing, even the most renown bookies, those that make a living facilitating gambling by setting odds, were predicting a Trump victory. Then we woke up the day after, and watched the news media report that Biden had received enough votes—apparently out of thin air—to give him the majority needed to ensure the Electoral College would deliver to Congress a Biden victory.

Although thousands of witnesses and experts were willing to testify in a court of law, even the highest court of the land, the judicial system feigned lack of standing and refused to review the evidence in an open court setting. The same situation played out in Congress on a date that happened to coincide with a Christian Feast day. Congress feigned lack of standing and precedent, and refused to review the evidence, handing the Presidency to Biden, and heralding in an era of totalitarianism, previously only seen in Stalin’s Russia, Hitler’s Germany, and Chairman Mao’s China.

This epiphany, in the secular sense, that we are entering an era of never before seen totalitarianism—at least never before seen in the United States—is not just my opinion but one that has been echoed by countless writers and observers in the last few days. In an op-ed piece titled; ABC News Calls for ‘Cleansing’ of Trump Supporters in Wake of Capitol Incursion, Western Journal 8 January 2021, Kipp Jones reported how journalists at ABC News had posted remarks on social media that ominously reflected the views and statements of a large number of activists affiliated with the far left.

Rick Klein, who is the rudder on the corrupt ABC News political coverage ship, must have been feeling awfully emboldened Thursday after Democrat Joe Biden was officially certified as the country’s next president. Perhaps a little too emboldened, as is evident by what he said on Twitter.
As part of the Democratic Party, establishment media and Washington swamp campaign to tear down the legacy of President Donald Trump this week, the political director for ABC News called for a “cleansing” of Trump’s movement.
(Klein posted) “Cleansing the movement he commands, or getting rid of what he represents to so many Americans, is going to be something else.”
ABC News and Klein cleaned up their creepy genocidal language, but the veil is off, and we know who they are. We know that these people want.
The majority of the establishment media wants a one-party state where every man, woman and child knows his or her place. Trump’s awakening of the GOP base and others is a threat to that, and it became even more threatening after he began successfully courting Democratic voters last year.
Leftists have used words such as “reconciliation” and “re-education” with regard to how to deal with us since the election. Now ABC News has called for a “cleansing” of the political movement the president created.[4]

We are seeing reports across the Internet of how those that supported Trump are being singled out for retribution. I was particularly moved by the closing remarks of Ann Corcoran who posted in her Blog; Frauds, Crooks, and Criminals [5], a report excerpting words written by Dennis Prager who attempted to explain how as a Jew, he had spent his entire life trying to come to an understanding of why the German people—a substantially “good” people—stood by and allowed Hitler and his obsequious sycophants to oppress the Jewish people and methodologically murder six-million of these defenseless people.

Prager noted in his piece ironically published on 5 January a day before the epiphany, expanding on how totalitarianism had become the norm during the Corona Virus lock downs. He observed how we had allowed ourselves to be coerced into accepting unconstitutional oppression in the name of public health. While we seemingly did so either through fear of contracting a disease we were programmed to fear or simply as a means to comply with the civil authority.  The German people of the 1930’s accepted Hitler as did the Russians of the Stalin era, out of fear of the secret police. Read Prager’s entire op-ed at Townhall [6]

I think what moved me the most about Ann Corcoran’s blog post was her closing words:

On a personal note, my grandfather died in a Hitler re-education camp in 1938 on my mother’s 13th birthday. He was a Catholic (Polish by birth), a small city bureaucrat, who had opposed the Nazi regime as it rose to power. My mother told stories of her sister (who died a few years after her father) of listening to the BBC from an attic room to get the news from the outside, fearful of course that her neighbors living in the adjoining apartments could hear her radio and turn her in.
Prager’s piece made me cry, not so much for my family then, the “good Germans,” but for all of us now, for a once glorious and free America.
God help us!

In the same respect, some of those in the Charismatic movement who prophesied of a Trump victory in November are now speaking of divine recopmpense. They are foretelling of God intervening, a miracle so to speak at this dark thirteenth hour. I pray that they are correct in their prophetic words.
In my opinion, those of us that are Christians in America and Western Countries have been given a wake up call. We have been compliant for the most part. Quietly going along with all sorts of abominations that have taken this country away from the heavenly Father and handed to the adversaries of God. But with that said some are asking how can God allow us to suffer the same fate as the Jews of Nazi Germany or the Russians under Stalin’s USSR? I would ask them to turn in their bibles to Second Kings chapter 17:7-21

Israel Exiled Because of Sin
7 All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods 8 and followed the practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced. 9 The Israelites secretly did things against the Lord their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city they built themselves high places in all their towns. 10 They set up sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. 11 At every high place they burned incense, as the nations whom the Lord had driven out before them had done. They did wicked things that aroused the Lord’s anger. 12 They worshiped idols, though the Lord had said, “You shall not do this.”[b] 13 The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.” 14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.” 16 They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. 17 They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sought omens and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger. 18 So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left, 19 and even Judah did not keep the commands of the Lord their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced. 20 Therefore the Lord rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers, until he thrust them from his presence. 21 When he tore Israel away from the house of David, they made Jeroboam son of Nebat their king. Jeroboam enticed Israel away from following the Lord and caused them to commit a great sin. 22 The Israelites persisted in all the sins of Jeroboam and did not turn away from them 23 until the Lord removed them from his presence, as he had warned through all his servants the prophets. So the people of Israel were taken from their homeland into exile in Assyria, and they are still there.

Throughout the Bible we find how the Jewish people, those people chosen by God as his own, were repeatedly conquered and subjugated to totalitarian rule simply because they failed—miserably—to follow Gods ordinances. In that light, how can we question why God would turn his back on us in this time of impending doom?
Some of those that have predicted a miracle, have also noted that we will—as a people—undergo a post modern revival. A great time of repentance and accepting God. Perhaps this time of introspection and repentance is a prerequisite for divine intervention, I do not know as I am not blessed with prophetic vision, per se. Perhaps this time of intervention will occur prior to Biden’s inauguration, perhaps in four more years at the next presidential election. Of perhaps it will be as that explained to Abram in Genesis 15:13,

“Then the LORD said to Abram, “Know this for certain: Your offspring will be resident aliens for four hundred years in a land that does not belong to them and will be enslaved and oppressed.”

Simply put, we as a Christian people must have faith that God will deliver us from this modern day bondage, but we must learn from the Israelites of the Old Testament era not to break our covenants with God, but to obey his ordinances. We must—all of us—stand against abortion that has murdered missions of innocents world wide since 1973. Likewise we must stand united against idolatry and all other things that are abominations in the eyes of God. We must stand against the defilement of his Holy Word as it is twisted to justify those very acts that the Word says are abominable. If we fail to do so, if we fail to trust in God and follow his Holy Word, then we will languish in oppression until a new generation rises up to do that which we failed to do.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphany_(holiday)#Epiphany_season
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarnation#Christianity
[3] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epiphany
[4] https://www.westernjournal.com/abc-news-calls-cleansing-trump-supporters-wake-capitol-incursion/
[5] https://fraudscrookscriminals.com/2021/01/10/dennis-prager-now-i-understand-the-good-germans/
[6] https://townhall.com/columnists/dennisprager/2021/01/05/i-now-better-understand-the-good-german-n2582563

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