Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Epiphany in Christiandom

Yesterday was the feast of Epiphany, January 6th. It seems to me that there has been a lot of discussion of Epiphany in the world of blog, so for the benefit of those who don't have an understanding of this Christian date, I thought I'd do a bit of research.  My first definition from Google is:


e·piph·a·ny
əˈpifənē/
noun
  1. the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1–12).
    • the festival commemorating the Epiphany on January 6.
    • a manifestation of a divine or supernatural being.

So with this definition, we now have a question about the Magi, which was addressed in a sermon at my church on Sunday. This date, January 6th, is sometimes celebrated with a feast.  The revelation in Christianity is that the Son of God was born as a human in Jesus Christ.  So the story is that these "wise men" or "three kings" traveled some 1000 miles from Persia to Bethlehem following a star. The three men were supposedly named Balthazar, Casper, and Melchior. They asked at the palace of King Herod if anyone knew of a new king born in Bethlehem. It was a big surprise to King Herod, as he of course didn't want some new king coming along, so he told them to find the child and let him know where the child was. They continued on following a star to where Jesus was born, and brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. According to the story, they returned to their home by a different route rather than to tell the king where the child could be found.

There are a number of other interpretations of the word Magi, if you want to look them up, some relating to magic. And of course there are movies and tv shows, etc. from a totally different perspective.  I found this video on YouTube which describes Epiphany and the wise men, but you are welcome to ignore the ad at the end. It's pretty short.


Linda Kay
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