In honor of Epiphany, I thought I would re-post my first blog post ever, a year ago. Happy Epiphany! Love, Sara
On January 6th, Christians celebrate Epiphany. Well, we were supposed to celebrate Epiphany. Most of us let that slip right by us without acknowledgment or observance. In fact, most of us don’t even know what it means. I didn’t even think about it until I saw a friend’s Facebook post. He simply said, “Happy Epiphany! Don’t be afraid to google it,” which I promptly did. Epiphany is the remembrance and celebration of the visit of the Magi, the Wise Men, to baby Jesus. Did you know that they didn’t show up with the shepherd’s? No, it took a bit longer for them to get there.
It’s not that I had never heard of this, nor was it that I wasn’t vaguely aware of its significance. It’s just that mentally, emotionally, and spiritually I just grouped this all together with Christmas. And Christmas is over. My decorations are put away, and things are back to normal. But they really shouldn’t be back to normal, should they? I should be changed. Maybe that is why it is called Epiphany. It is a realization–a life-changing truth. And sometimes we have to receive the epiphanies in stages. We need to savor the “peace on earth, good will toward men” a bit before we move on to the Wise Men’s visit.
We have a Christmas tradition that may seem cruel to some; however it has been passed down for several generations, so this is just how we do it.
We eat breakfast—together—before we even see any presents. It is a sit-down breakfast, with the table set. Mont reads the Christmas story, and we all discuss the implications of it. Lest we sound particularly holy or pious, I must confess the kids are begging, complaining, and pleading, “Hurry up!” The discussion questions asked are an attempt to make them a little bit miserable! My dad did this to me, his dad to him; it is just how the torture is passed from one generation to the next! Then Mont and I go back for just one more cup of coffee to prolong the suffering of our children, and then the kids line up youngest in the front to oldest in the back and they all run in to open the presents.
Last Christmas, the breakfast topic was the particular significance of each of the three gifts of the wise men. I don’t think our children were listening, but I was. Here is what he taught us:
Gold: This gift was a royal gift, fit for a king.
Frankincense: This gift was an incense that the priest burned as a fragrant offering to God.
Myrrh: This gift was a precious spice that was used for embalming the dead.
From the moment Jesus was born, His identity was revealed. He, the baby born to a virgin girl, was the King of Kings, the Greatest High Priest, and the Sacrificial Lamb who would die on our behalf. These gifts also represented the Trinity, our Triune God, three in one. Gold represented God the Father, who sits on the throne; frankincense represented the Holy Spirit, the presence of God on earth; and myrrh represented Jesus, the one who would die in our place.
So, let’s savor the truth of who He is. Let’s celebrate this truth. Let’s have our own epiphany—our own realization of life-changing truth. And may we remember this truth all year. Happy Epiphany!