January 5 – the Eve of Epiphany!
This is the end of Twelvetide or Christmastide … the last big celebration of Christmas.
In the Western liturgical churches, January 6, called Epiphany, draws attention to the Magi visiting Jesus, bringing Him gifts.
In Eastern churches, Epiphany draws attention to Jesus’ baptism and the announcement of God.
Let’s look briefly at the significance of each one!
Epiphany means manifestation or appearance.
In our Western tradition, we celebrate the manifestation of the Messiah to the Gentiles when the Magi who traveled from the East finally arrive at Jesus’ home. They present gifts representing their cultures, fitting for royalty. More than that, the Magi kneeled to worship, recognizing they were in the presence of a king.
Epiphany commemorates Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River in the Eastern tradition. The Spirit of God descends on Jesus, and a voice from heaven declares, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him, I am well pleased.” Those present heard the voice of God revealing His Son to the world!
A Moment of Sudden Insight
Collins Dictionary includes this definition of epiphany: “a moment of sudden insight or understanding.”
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.2 Timothy 1:9-10 NIV
The scripture reminds us that Jesus was chosen before the creation of the world but was revealed in these last times for our sake. It is through Him we believe in God.
May today, tomorrow, and this weekend be a time of revelation for you! May you know how deep and wide God’s love for you is.