Epiphany…the twelfth and last day of Christmas. The day Magi visited the Holy Child. The day John baptized Jesus. Or, the day Jesus changed the water into wine.
Depending on the tradition, this ancient church holiday commemorates any one of these events. Above all, Epiphany (Greek for “manifest” or “to reveal”) celebrates God’s revelation of Jesus Christ as his own Son.
As a kid, I remember my parochial school teachers saying we shouldn’t take our Christmas tree down before Epiphany. Now, as an adult, I’ve grown beyond such ideas, not out of apathy towards a somewhat forgotten holiday but because our tree—which, by the way, we cut only three weeks ago from our own woods— had dried to a crisp and threatened to ignite the whole house.
Who cares about a tree?
Instead, let’s think of Epiphany as the celebration it is. A celebration of God’s love.
Being the mortal humans we are, there’s no way we can fully comprehend an immortal God. Yet, when God revealed himself as a man on earth— someone people could see, hear and touch—he gave us an opportunity to better know him, to more easily understand his saving grace.
Wow! God did all that for us!
Epiphany in those terms certainly outshines any effort we put forth in sharing our Savior’s message. In spite of that, we have our own God-given command to reveal his message and tools with which to do so—words, visuals and, oh, so much more. My goal this year is to use them to his glory.