Epiphany: The Season of Glory – Fleming Rutledge

Epiphany: The Season of Glory by Fleming Rutledge
Series: The Fullness of Time: A Journey Through the Church Year #5
Published by IVP on November 14, 2023
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Theology
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"We have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father."

This line from the prologue of the Gospel of John declares the theme of Epiphany. Christmas celebrates Christ's birth; Epiphany manifests his glory.

The feast of Epiphany and its following season are not as well observed as they should be. Many of us associate Epiphany with the visit of the Magi but don't know much more about it. In this short volume, priest and theologian Fleming Rutledge expounds the primary biblical texts and narrative arc of the season, inviting us to discover anew "the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

Each volume in the Fullness of Time series invites readers to engage with the riches of the church year, exploring the traditions, prayers, Scriptures, and rituals of the seasons of the church calendar.

This book by renowned priest and author Fleming Rutledge focuses on the lesser-known liturgical season of Epiphany. Rutledge explains what Epiphany is and why it is an important part of the church calendar, saying that this season highlights “various epiphanies of the glory of Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God.” Throughout the book, she explores Epiphany through both narrative and theological lenses, explaining what we learn about Jesus from stories such as the visit of the Magi, Jesus’s baptism, his early miracles, and his transfiguration.

This book will appeal to Christians who practice liturgical forms of worship and want to further explore Epiphany, and it will also appeal to people from low church backgrounds who want to learn more about the church calendar and this season. Rutledge’s academic style is best for pastors and theologically minded readers, but even though the writing is fairly highbrow, Rutledge focuses on essentials of the faith without getting into technical or esoteric side topics. Rutledge also includes practical applications and helpful asides for pastors and teachers, sharing ideas for how they can celebrate Epiphany in their churches, and she boldly speaks out against popular errors, whether it is co-opting Jesus to promote your personal politics or thinking of him as a good moral teacher while ignoring his divinity and lordship.

Epiphany: The Season of Glory is a thoughtful, eloquent, and impassioned tribute to the importance of this liturgical season, which emphasizes the glory of Christ. Rutledge’s love for Jesus comes through clearly in her writing, as does her care for the church. This book is an excellent resource for pastors and teachers who want to better understand Epiphany and guide their congregations towards a greater delight in Jesus, and this will also encourage and bless laypeople who care about the topic.