These are the last few days of the season of Epiphany. On Wednesday—Ash Wednesday—we will enter the season of Lent.
As you recall, the Church Year begins with Advent. This is a season where we think about the Light that will come into the world in Jesus Christ, seeking to prepare our hearts in such a way that he will find himself welcomed there. Next comes Christmas, wherein we celebrate the coming of that Light in the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.
After Christmas is Epiphany, a season in which we have been considering what it means to live in this Light which has come into the world. What does it mean to walk in the Light instead of in darkness? It is a season where we are meant to realize how very important this Light is; to realize its true nature and identity.
That is precisely what this first chapter of Hebrews does. Recalling both Genesis 1 and John 1, we are presented with Jesus as the Creator. But that idea is expanded, as we see that Jesus did not just create but also sustains the world, filling it with God’s Light (glory). We learn that the very Life Force with which the universe pulsates is personal and has a name: Jesus Christ.
These verses do not ask us to do anything so much as realize who Jesus is. As the book develops, everything else will flow from that. So we might ask—have we this Epiphany had a deep and profound encounter with God in Christ?
To the degree that we have, that is something to be celebrated in worship and praise and life well lived. To the degree that we haven’t—well, that brings us to Ash Wednesday and Lent. That brings us to a season that now asks us to consider why, given the glorious and beautiful nature of the Light given us in Jesus Christ, we so often fail to recognize him and act accordingly.