By Bishop Duleep de Chickera –
Epiphany is the festival of enlightenment. It commemorates the visit of the wise-persons from the east to the Christ child and is observed on the 6th of January. The Orthodox Church broadly known as the Eastern Church celebrates Christmas on Epiphany to affirm that those who search for light are drawn to the divine light born anew in Christ.
The significance of light however goes beyond both Christianity and the religious. Through the ages light has been a universal symbol of truth, life and liberation that dispels deceit, darkness and chaos. Consequently the quest of humans has been to comprehend the light and dispel the darkness within and around.
This year the proximity of epiphany to a very crucial national election may be a coincidence, but it reminds us that the light within us must somehow be harnessed to enlighten our nation. Since all are a mix of light and darkness, a time tested way of doing so is to discern and endorse the greater light and lesser darkness from among those who vie for our vote.
In this task we are to be mindful that;
- At election time, particularly, darkness is cleverly disguised as light.
- Light dispels darkness, so our endorsement must affirm the greater potential to eradicate corruption, deceit, intimidation, and the abuse of power.
- Light spreads over all without discrimination, so our endorsement must enhance greater possibilities of freedom, dignity, fulfilment and hope for each and all.
- Light and darkness rise and fall in rhythm, so there will be other elections and other champions of the light as there will be stretches of darkness.
- Those who therefore long for sustained national enlightenment have no rest. They are to remain ever watchful for emerging signs of darkness and sound warning bells so that the darkness will be inevitably overcome by the light.
Epiphany like other festivals of light comes once a year. There is great wisdom in this cycle. It brings the immeasurable gift of a periodic review of the state of darkness and light within our-selves and our nation. From here it calls for the consistent endorsement of a shared and enlightened journey, flavoured with ceaseless vigilance.
Such is the sacred price to be paid by a sovereign people. It is a far more rewarding privilege than contesting elections.
With Peace and Blessings to all