Epiphany

January 6

Feast Day of the Epiphany follows the Twelve Days. It is the feast that commemorates the coming of the Wise Men to Jesus, following the star. These men were guided by a star which led to a baby who would be king. On Epiphany, we celebrate the revelation of Jesus to the gentiles who followed the light, in recognition that all people can be drawn to Jesus. The Feast of the Epiphany celebrates the end of the birth story and opens a new season of revelation called “ordinary” time. Epiphany invites us to recognize the revelation of God in our own lives and to follow him.

Reading: “And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was." Read Matthew 2:1-12.

Collect: O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Pray: Practice Centering Prayer for five minutes.

Make Merry:

  • Gratitude Journal: Write 3 things for which you are grateful.

  • Eat Three Kings Cake! 

  • Chalk the Doors and bless the homes of people close to you. 

  • Illuminate the way to Jesus (place luminaria on the path to your door. Hold a candlight/flashlight procession starting outside and ending at your nativity set or Christmas tree. Sing as you enter).

  • Take Down you Christmas Tree

  • Eat breakfast for dinner by candlelight

  • Stargazing after dark. Consider how the  Magi paid attention to the light.

  • Make a Three Kings Cake! Recipe at springsiac.org/beholdchristmas. Post it with #12TideCbus

 

Ancient Text Reflection:

Saint Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome (AD 390- 461) Sermo 3 in Epiphania Domin

The loving providence of God determined that in the last days he would aid the world, set on its course to destruction. He decreed that all nations should be saved in Christ. A promise had been made to the holy patriarch Abraham in regard to these nations. He was to have a countless progeny, born not from his body but from the seed of faith. His descendants are therefore compared with the array of the stars. The father of all nations was to hope not in an earthly progeny but in a progeny from above.

 

Let the full number of the nations now take their place in the family of the patriarchs. Let the children of the promise now receive the blessing in the seed of Abraham, the blessing renounced by the children of his flesh. In the persons of the Magi let all people adore the Creator of the universe; let God be known, not in Judaea only, but in the whole world, so that his name may be great in all Israel. Dear friends, now that we have received instruction in this revelation of God’s grace, let us celebrate with spiritual joy the day of our first harvesting, of the first calling of the Gentiles.

 

Let us give thanks to the merciful God, who has made us worthy, in the words of the Apostle, to share the position of the saints in light, who has rescued us from the power of darkness, and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son. As Isaiah prophesied: the people of the Gentiles, who sat in darkness, have seen a great light, and for those who dwelt in the region of the shadow of death a light has dawned. He spoke of them to the Lord: The Gentiles, who do not know you, will invoke you, and the peoples, who knew you not, will take refuge in you. This is the day that Abraham saw, and rejoiced to see, when he knew that the sons born of his faith would be blessed in his seed, that is, in Christ. Believing that he would be the father of the nations, he looked into the future, giving glory to God, in full awareness that God is able to do what he has promised.

 

This is the day that David prophesied in the psalms, when he said: All the nations that you have brought into being will come and fall down in adoration in your presence, Lord, and glorify your name. Again, the Lord has made known his salvation; in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. This came to be fulfilled, as we know, from the time when the star beckoned the three wise men out of their distant country and led them to recognize and adore the King of heaven and earth. The obedience of the star calls us to imitate its humble service: to be servants, as best we can, of the grace that invites all to find Christ. Dear friends, you must have the same zeal to be of help to one another; then, in the kingdom of God, to which faith and good works are the way, you will shine as children of the light: through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with God the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

Image by Greg Rakozy

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