January 6

Day of Epiphany

Matthew 2:1-12

“In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?’” vss.1-2

In most Spanish-speaking countries the Day of Epiphany, or the Day of the Kings, is celebrated with as much enthusiasm as Christmas. The Three Kings ride in street parades, welcome children in department stores, and hand out gifts in hospitals. They have crowns on their heads and wear royal robes, and their presence marks the close of the Christmas season. For most other Christians the day slips by pretty much unnoticed, though for some it’s a signal to take down the Christmas decorations. Originally in the Eastern Church the day was called Theophany and celebrated the incarnation of Jesus. The connection with the Wise Men came later as a recognition that Jesus was given to all peoples and not just the Jews. In our time, for many congregations Epiphany inaugurates the season of light, a series of Sundays in which we recognize that God’s glory shone through Jesus and that he is the Light of the world. And even if we’re not very good about evangelism and spreading the good news, these will be the weeks when we talk about maybe doing that some day. And some will actually jump on the bandwagon and begin letting their light shine for all to see–and when that actually happens, it’s a wondrous thing to see!

Thought for the Day:  What does the word “epiphany” mean to me?

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