Lovers of Christmas carols and parties know that the Christmas season traditionally includes something to do with 12 days, packed with golden rings, calling birds and various kinds of gentry, musicians and domestic workers. This tradition evolved from the history of the festival of the nativity of Jesus Christ being intertwined with that of the Feast of Epiphany.
The Greek word “epiphany” means “to show forth” and is used to describe “an appearance or manifestation, especially of a divine being.” For centuries, church calendars in the East and the West have agreed that there are twelve days of Christmas, beginning on December 25 with the celebration of the Christ’s birth and ending on January 6, with the Feast of Epiphany, known as the Day of the Three Kings (or wise men/magi).
According to an old legend, based on the Biblical account in Matthew 2, on the night when Jesus was born, the three Gentile wise men from the east (which tradition has named Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar) saw a bright star and followed it all the way to Bethlehem in Judea. There they found the Christ-child and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These were the first Gentile worshippers of the Jewish Messiah. Today, some Christmas cards and songs remind both Jews and Gentiles that “Wise Men Still Seek Him!”
How about you? Have you had your epiphany? As you begin 2012, are you seeking more of Jesus? Have you brought Him the best you have—to bless and multiply for His Kingdom’s purposes and plans? If so, Happy Epiphany!