Epiphany and the Thin Place

Exodus 3: 5 – “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”

What is Epiphany? Question will be asked and answered in worship services this weekend.

For those not wanting to wait for Sunday, Epiphany is the celebration of the manifestation of Jesus to the Gentiles AND the celebration of the coming of the Magi to baby Jesus AND the end of the Christmas season (last day of the twelve days of Christmas)

The question I have been asking is not “What is Epiphany?” but “where is the Epiphany?”

Epiphany is also the moment of sudden or great revelation that usually changes you in some way. There are times where I could really use an epiphany.  Most days there are just regular things like conversations, work, emails, meal planning, cleaning, more work, phone calls to return, visits to make and “stuff”. No real great revelations or epiphanies.

Not long ago someone mentioned that he had found his “thin place” and it was an epiphany for him. Got me wondering, where was my “thin place”.

The thin place is a term, often in Celtic theology, to describe a place in time where the space between heaven and earth grows thin and the sacred and the secular may meet.

When my family went to Ireland to hike this fall, I thought I will find that thin place. The weather was perfect. The hiking was fabulous. The vistas from top of the Wickway Way were spectacular. The family time was priceless. And yet I did not find the thin place.

This fall, after we returned from our Ireland trip, I was working with Lightroom software (photo editing) that I came across a picture I had taken from a couple of years ago and I was transported to the thin place.

I had taken the picture from a clover field on the Back Presque Isle Road in Caribou, Maine just a south of my childhood home.  From this clover field you can see fields, barns, trees and lots of sky. In the distance was the Aroostook river and probably we at an elevation that some of that view included Canada. The air was clean and crisp, and the fragrance of the clover blossoms surrounded me. I believed I could reach out my hand and touch the sacred space between earth and heaven. The epiphany moment, a sacred moment and place, came late at night leaning over my computer, squinting at a picture on the screen.

May you be surprised with a sacred moment, an epiphany, this New Year. May God continue to bless your ministry and lead you to amazing things.