Epiphany

Matthew 2:1-2

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked,Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

“Epiphany” means a manifestation or revelation.  In Christian belief, Epiphany is the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi, and is celebrated on January 6.  Though Scripture does not say how many Wise Men were in the company, tradition holds there were at least three, because there were three gifts given to the Christ Child.  In some countries, January 6 is called “The Day of the Three Kings.”

The Wise Men were Gentile astrologers, the scholars and learned men of their society.  They understood the significance of a new element in the skies.  Not content to simply observe the phenomenon, they traveled far to find and pay homage to the infant King of the Jews, guided by the light from the star.  The star led the Magi to the house where they found the Child and his mother.  They worshiped him, giving him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 

Like the Magi, those who search for Christ will find him.  Even in these times, wise men still seek him.

Matthew 7:7-8

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds;

and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Illustration by Gerry Ohlendorf

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