Epiphany is a significant feast of the Church, older than Christmas, and it introduces a space of “ordinary time” in our calendar. It heralds the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, personified by the Magi who brought worship to the newborn king. They are the first ‘stand-ins’ for the Gentile nations who would come to Jesus – and who are still coming. The Christian claim has always been that Jesus is Lord, and that this claim is immanently relevant to the kings of the earth. Herod certainly thought so. Caesar figured it out, too.
At present, however, the visible Church seems a little obscured by the conflict raging around us. Like you, I have a sense that terrorist acts have escalated in frequency and severity. It matters not if they are coordinated events. There are a bunch of people on the planet who buy into the doctrine of Islamic Jihad, and they have awakened to their common enemy. And the common enemy is the secular, decadent, post-Christian West.
We are committed now to one thing: the secular state and the total individualization of freedom, untethered from any moral code. This manifests itself in almost every area of civil life – personal and institutional. Moreover, those who govern us insist upon governing with the creed that there is no universal or transcendent principle by which to govern. Nevermind that this commitment is in itself a transcendent, insisted upon as rigidly as the most committed jihadist. To Islam, our very existence is an affront to the prophet, and deserves annihilation. That, too, has been the claim of Muslims since Mohammed.
Which brings us down to the question in this conflict: which side will prevail? I would guess that it would be the side that has the will to push its ideology to its logical conclusion. At present, it is apparent which side is serious about taking the fight to the other. The terroristic incursions from Islam may be nothing more than sharp jabs in the early rounds of long fight, but there is little doubt that Islam is in it for the knockout.
Rallying around a military that seeks to prop up our secular monstronsity is a real temptation. After all, Vietnam taught us that we have to “support the troops” at all costs. And, of course, we live here; this is our home; and if the fight comes to our cities, we will be affected.
Just remember that both sides in this fight are each pursuing idolatry. Neither side has any use for our Lord. Both sides repudiate the claims of Jesus Christ that are promulgated through his Church. Both sides should be looking back to our Persian ancestors who found Christ, the Lord.