A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Friday, January 6, 2017

Happy Belated Birthday of Jesus Day (Epiphany)

Today (January 6) we celebrate the concluding 12th day of the Christmas Season. In our western Christian liturgical calendar, we conclude the Christmas Season with the story of the visit of the Wise Men who brought gifts to the Christ Child. Yes, it's actually more than just a day to remind us to begin taking down our Christmas decorations.

For this Sunday (January 8), don't be surprised if you find that Jesus has quickly become a young adult who is ready to begin his public ministry (Baptism of the Lord Sunday.) The liturgical calendar sometimes will fast forward the life of Jesus to help us include the major events of Jesus' life and ministry

When factoring in the time frame of when Herod killed children two years of age and under (Matthew 2:16) in an attempt to do away with the Christ Child, the Wise Men most certainly didn't arrive on the scene until well after Jesus was born. Even though Wise Men are standard figurines in nativity displays, their visit was actually separate from the manger scene.

The good news of Christmas is that the Messiah has come...

By including Epiphany Day as the concluding day of the Christmas Season, we are reminded of the light that the prophet Isaiah prophesied in the Old Testament and how kings will come and present gifts to the long awaited Messiah. Isaiah is careful to tell us that the coming of the Messiah will lead the Gentile world to come bearing gifts. The good news of Christmas is that the Messiah has come not only for the people of Israel but also for the whole world.

Epiphany..."Belated Birthday of Jesus Day"

So, actually, Epiphany can be given the name, "Belated Birthday of Jesus Day." Epiphany reminds us that it is never too late to offer our gifts and our worship to the Christ Child.

Happy Epiphany!

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