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What is celebrated on Epiphany?

Light for the Way seriesWe invite you to take a peek inside our Light for the Way devotional series. Each week we provide staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.

By Campus Pastor Keith Lomen, Orchard Path and Valley Ridge
 
“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.’”  — Luke 2:9-11, NIV
 
OK, folks! Pop quiz: Name a third major Christian holiday between Christmas and Easter. The answer: Epiphany. 
 
Here are some Epiphany fun facts:

  • It occurs just after the 12 days of Christmas on January 6.
  • It commemorates a number of things, depending on the Christian tradition you follow.
  • In the Western church, it celebrates the manifestation of Christ to the Gentile world, represented by the Magi, or the Three Kings. It is often called the Feast of the Three Kings.
  • Epiphany is often associated with revelation and therefore, "light." The most common symbol for Epiphany is the star that guided the three wise men to the Savior.
  • It also celebrates the revelation of God Incarnate as Jesus Christ, as well as Jesus’ baptism, a symbol of Christ’s humanity AND divinity.
  • In the church year, it is the season between Christmas and Lent.
  • Epiphany also has several dictionary definitions:
    • A revelation, a ‘turning on of a light,’ providing clarity
    • A powerful religious experience
    • An illuminating discovery, realization or disclosure

The revelations that came as an "epiphany" to the world when Christ was born at Christmas were these:
  • God had not forgotten His people. The Messiah was here!
  • Not only that, but peace with God was not just for the Jews, but through Christ, now was for all the people. That was big!
  • Christ came as the "light of the world," to reveal the true nature of God in a knowable, human form.
  • The coming of "Immanuel" meant God is with us and for us. Christ is also, by our faith in Him, in us! God is near! God is here!

My hope and prayer for all of us this Epiphany is that God would reveal Himself in a new, powerful and creative way. A way that encourages us and strengthens our faith in our personal and powerful God. May Christ be both light and life to you today!

More selected devotionals in the Light for the Way series:
We are a family at PHS
Waiting for the Light: a winter solstice reflection
Optage Senior Dining Choices: Delivering meals and hope
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series

In addition to Light for the Way, you can find reflections, devotions, music and other resources on the Pastoral Care website

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