O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
—Collect for the Feast of the Epiphany
from Collects: Contemporary, The Book of Common Prayer
There is a pause—albeit very slight, perhaps milliseconds—between the sparks which fly from the striking of a match and the bursting of the match into a full flame. So it is with the spark of the divine birth at Christmas, a relatively unheralded event witnessed by a few shepherds and animals, which took some time to burst into the flame of a star at the Epiphany, witnessing the recognition by the world that light had come into the darkness and a new era was about to begin.
Epiphany is about light. Light shining in darkness. The light of Christ sparking into human time and erupting into a flame which will not only beat back the darkness, but eventually engulf the world in the flames of its Holy Spirit. But there is time for a pause. There must be, because it takes time for our eyes to adjust to the light, to recognize its sudden presence in our world, and then to welcome the new warmth as a beneficial transformation of our lives.
In the cold and dark of the season, may this star erupt into your consciousness, coaxing you out of the shadows and into the full light of the wondrous, warming presence of Jesus Christ Our Lord.