Today is Epiphany, or Three Kings Day. Epiphany is an ancient celebration of the revelation of God to mankind in the person of Jesus Christ. It is commonly linked to the story of the Magi’s visit to Jesus.
This is celebrated all over the world in a variety of ways. Why have I never heard of this!? In Greece, swimmers dive for a cross in a ceremonial blessing of the waters. Epiphany is celebrated with Three Magi pageants or parades in Lithuania and Poland. “Wise men” meet and greet children in Manila, Philippines. In Germany, children dressed as the three Magi go around singing and asking for donations for charitable causes. Festivals take place in Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, and other countries.
How fitting is the name of this observance? Epiphany. A moment of sudden revelation, insight or leap of understanding.
Matthew writes that the Magi came to Jerusalem and asked about the King of the Jews. The star, his star, led them to where they needed to be. When they saw the child, they bowed down and worshiped him. (Matthew 2:1-12)
In a leap of understanding, they realized that this child wasn’t only King of the Jews but Savior to the world. Their journey had brought them to this place of worship and rest.
Love is here. Hope has a name. The good news and great joy the angels told the shepherds of is true.
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)