Today is Epiphany. On January 6 the church celebrates the Feast of Epiphany. Protestants don’t normally think about it; the Western church attaches Epiphany to the Wise Men who searched out Jesus after His birth. The Eastern church focuses on the baptism of Jesus when He was revealed as the Son of God as the Epiphany.
For me it has become the day that I finally turn off the Christmas lights that have brightened the dark world during the Christmas season. After all the effort to get them up, I hate to take them down right after Christmas. I wait the full twelve days after Christmas until Epiphany to carry out the sad but by now much needed task. After all, I say I put them up partly as my Christmas Greeting to my neighbors. I think they are very tired of them by January.
Of all the events in Jesus’ life that we celebrate, this one may seem the least important. One may wonder why it got priority on the church calendar in light of more important happenings (like the calling of the disciples) that do not have their own feast day.
I’m glad that I have Epiphany to think about the Magi who traveled to worship Jesus. Immersed within the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus, Gentile interactions pop up. The Magi are the first Gentiles to worship the one true King of all time. They thought they were coming to celebrate the King of the Jews, but they discovered a connection to the God of the Universe. They certainly had a true epiphany.
As I take down my Christmas lights, I use Epiphany to reflect on what the Advent and Christmas season has meant to me this year. I treasure my memories as I put away another Christmas season. I will never come to fully comprehend all that God did for me at Christmas. I certainly don’t have the desire nor the insight to figure out anything that God has hidden in the stars—I have a hard time finding the big dipper and the little dipper way up there. No, I’ll spend my efforts concentrating on how to wind up the lights so that the right end is ready to connect for the next Christmas.
What I can immolate from the Wise Men is the worship of Jesus Christ the New Born King. I can stop on this day and behold Him by considering all that He came to this earth to do for me then and how much He does for me now from His seated position at the right hand of God.
After all my gifts from Christmas are all put away, now I can think about Jesus the way the Magi show me. Matthew 2:11 says: On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
I’ll let this day remind me to bow down and worship Jesus and bring Him the gift He most desires: my surrendered and humble heart.
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