Epiphany: Christmas Isn’t Over after December 25
As Christmas Day passes, you might start packing away your decorations and nativity scenes.
But not so fast.
“Christmas isn’t over on the twenty-fifth,” said the Rev. Harold Vanicek of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church of Marble Falls. “It’s just beginning.”
The 12 days of Christmas aren't just words in a song, they're also the days after Dec. 25 leading up to Epiphany.
Yes, Epiphany. It’s a strange-sounding word typically used when someone has a great revelation. In the Christian faith, however, Epiphany is the day the magi, or three wisemen, arrived in Bethlehem to give their gifts to Jesus.
But it was more than the gifts they brought.
“Epiphany is a light, light to the world,” Vanicek said. “To me, what the wisemen do is show that Jesus was the light for the entire world.”
The wisemen were likely from distant lands. They probably had no connection to the Jewish faith or its prophesies. When the three arrive to celebrate Jesus’s birth, it reveals that Jesus wasn’t a savior for a select few or even one nation but the entire world — both then and the future.
“The wisemen represent the world, to me, and that Jesus was born for all of us,” Vanicek said.
As for the wisemen arriving 12 days after Jesus’s birth, well, that’s another matter.
“We really don’t know exactly when they arrived,” Vanicek said.
While nativity scenes traditionally depict the magi arriving at the stable, in Chapter 2 of Matthew in the New Testament, the writer describes the three wisemen finding Mary and Jesus at a house.
Whether or not the magi arrived in Bethlehem within days of Jesus’s birth or found him much later, the important part is they helped share with the world that the savior wasn’t just for a few but for all of us.
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