Epiphany – Christ for the World
The Feast of the Epiphany, marks the end of the 12 days of Christmas and begins a season of four to nine weeks, starting from the Feast of the Epiphany, on January 6th each year.
Epiphany is a Greek word meaning “manifestation” or “appearing.” At the Feast of the Epiphany, we celebrate Jesus’ birth. God makes himself known to us in the person of Jesus, the Christ, who is the Messiah of the Jewish people. At the visit of the Magi, the Christ is made known to the Gentile world as well. This divine meeting of Christ and the Magi or “Three Kings of the East” is significant as a revelation of God’s intent that Christ is salvation for the whole world, not just the Jews. The shepherds are the first evangelists, who return to town to tell of the wonders they have seen and tell the good news of a Savior. The Magi are the first evangelists to the larger world, carrying the message of Emmanuel: “God with Us,” and Yeshua – Jesus: “God Saves Us,” to the Gentiles. Epiphany is, therefore, a Feast Day – a Celebration of the magnitude our God’s desire to commune with all of His children, all over the world — forever — through HIs Son.
The gifts the Magi bear to the Christ Child are traditionally thought to be symbols of how God fulfills his plan of Salvation through his Son, Jesus. The Magi bring gold for a king, frankincense for a priest, myrrh (a burial spice) for one destined even at his birth to die a prophet’s death. No matter what the gifts, we can imagine the curiosity and awe of the humble Mary and Joseph as the Magi arrive. As the identity of Jesus unfolded to them over his lifetime, so his identity unfolds over our lifetime. God continues to make himself known or manifest to us in many ways.
In what ways has God made himself known to you? Was this good news to you?
What message will you then carry to those around you?
What gift would you bring to the Christ Child?
Read about the 3 Manifestations of Christ traditionally included in the celebration of the Feast of Epiphany.
Read about how we, too, are a Manifestation of Christ in the world.
Read more about the Episcopal Season of Epiphany.