Sunday was the first Sunday after Epiphany (January 6th, the 12th day of Christmas).
Epiphany n (first in print in 14th c): a festival observed on January 6, commemorating the coming of the Magi as the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles; an appearance or manifestation esp. of a divine being; a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something; an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking.
After celebrating the Feast of Lights with a candlelight service there was a full on fireworks display afterward. For some reason, the symbolism of taking the light of Christ out into the world was very powerful, but even more powerful was the explosive power of the fireworks.
Sometimes the light is a flickering candle, subtle but effective, but at other times the light of Christ explodes the darkness and fills the sky with light. At times the light can disorient those who have walked in darkness for too long, but ultimately, the darkness has parted and the light has changed the person forever. It was quite an intense image for me as I stood there on the front lawn of a church surrounded by the city of Houston with fireworks exploding overhead.
Only those who celebrate Epiphany would understand a fireworks celebration after church on a seemingly random Sunday. I wondered how many people were roused from their homes only to look up into the night sky and see a “random” fireworks display (which, inside city limits, can only be done with permission). They probably thought, “Oh, it’s those crazy Episcopalians again,” but I’m hopeful that at least one thought, “I wonder what those crazy Episcopalians are up to. Maybe I should go check it out.”