Eureka! ...err... Epiphany!

There are many folk legends and traditions around Epiphany:

  • January 6th is the day Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar arrived at the manger and presented their gifts to the Christ Child

  • Epiphany is on January 6th to celebrate the old calendar, when Christmas, December 25th, lined up with the day we now know as January 6th

    • In Eastern churches, Christmas is celebrated on January 6th, and Epiphany on January 19th

  • If you don't remove your Christmas decorations by Epiphany Eve, you must leave them untouched until Candlemas

  • There's a fourth king who never made it to Bethlehem with the others, but continued to search for Jesus his entire life

  • Epiphany celebrates the physical manifestation of Jesus to the Gentiles, represented in the story by the characters of the magi (of indeterminate number)

  • Save three Christmas gifts from being opened on Christmas and give them to your loved ones on Epiphany, since the magi brought three gifts to the Christ Child

  • After the three wise men left, the three wiser women arrived with casseroles, diapers, and baby formula

I could go on, this list is merely a small sampling of different thoughts and stories and traditions around Epiphany. The full title of the day is Epiphany of the Lord - that is Jesus, not the magi. Epiphany, the word itself, means manifestation or revelation, and at the Epiphany of the Lord we celebrate the manifestation of God's saving purpose to all the nations of the world. "Just as the magi came from a distant land to worship the Christ child, God's covenant of grace is extended to all people who believe the good news of Jesus Christ." (Book of Common Worship, (c) 2018) After the season of Advent when the church vestments were purple, the color of Epiphany is white, symbolizing the light of the revelation, the "bright dawning of God's self-revelation in Jesus Christ." The Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord: the reminder that we are called to bear Christ's light in the world.

Epiphany is about our response to the advent and revelation of God-with-us. Do we deliver a symbolic gift to a prop in a piece of set dressing for the show, or do we allow God's saving grace to live in us and continually discover what it means to be God's salvific agents in this world? 

I pray we all may have a Eureka moment this Epiphany, inspiration to be the bearer of light in this world. Being the light-bringer can take many forms, but at the very core, each different way will involve serving another or others. 

~Rev. Andrea Joy Holroyd

SUPC PastorComment