Epiphany, what’s Epiphany?

January 4, 2020

Monday, January 6, is Epiphany, a day to remember the three wise men who journeyed bearing gifts  to see the baby Jesus. If you Google Epiphany you will get lots of information about how it is celebrated in other countries, some with parades of people dressed up as the Wise Men. Not so much in the United States. In fact, I’m surprised that some merchants aren’t advertising Epiphany sales, since they seem to take every opportunity to have a sale.  

If you Google Epiphany, one of the suggested definitions is for the term “epiphany moment”, which is more how we use the word today, From the Google definition –  

Epiphany is an “Aha!” moment. As a literary device, epiphany (pronounced ih-pif–uh-nee) is the moment when a character is suddenly struck with a life-changing realization which changes the rest of the story. Often, an epiphany begins with a small, everyday occurrence or experience.

 For Christians, that small, everyday occurrence was the birth of Jesus. That event certainly changed things in our lives.  Churches will celebrate Epiphany this weekend, but few of us in the pews probably give it a lot of thought. After all, there are no Epiphany decorations that we can put up and Monday isn’t even a national holiday. It is however, the end of the 12 days of Christmas and does provide us with yet another opportunity to pause and thank God for sending us His Son – that was our “epiphany moment”

I have found a way to at least acknowledge Epiphany at my house. Every year, as part of our  Christmas decorations, I light up a large star of Bethlehem decoration that is placed on the second floor of the house. It can be seen from quite a distance. So, even though I took down the rest of the Christmas decorations yesterday, the star remains lit up at night, through Epiphany. It is a symbol of the star that guided the Wise Men to the manger in Bethlehem. I  hope that it give pause for reflection to those who see it as they come over the hill towards my house.

How do you celebrate Epiphany? Did you even know or remember that Monday is Epiphany? Does one say Happy Epiphany as a greeting? On Easter Morning we greet other Christians by saying, “He is risen”; maybe for Epiphany we should greet others with the phrase, ”He is born”. Was the birth of Jesus so long ago an epiphany moment in your life? Maybe Monday will be different from all other Monday’s this year, if you pause to reflect on that epiphany moment so long ago that lives on today.

Let Epiphany change your life.