It is officially the end of Christmas. Today the Christmas season wraps up with the celebration of Epiphany. And no, while we have not been celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas (maybe next year?), we are acknowledging the importance of the day of Epiphany. As our pastor said on Sunday, this is day for us to whoop it up, because Epiphany is the day that commemorates the Gospel being taken to the Gentiles ~ that’s me! The word epiphany literally means “manifestation” or “revelation.” The Light of the world was shown to the Magi, who then proclaimed Him to the nations (the Gentiles). We focus on light, on gifts, and on sharing Christ with others. The Light has been given to us, His chosen people! It is our responsibility to reflect that Light to the world around us. So today for Epiphany I am reminded that I have been given the gift of Jesus, and I need to reflect Him to the nations.
As with gladness, men of old
Did the guiding star behold
As with joy they hailed its light
Leading onward, beaming bright
So, most glorious Lord, may we
Evermore be led to Thee.
As with joyful steps they sped
To that lowly manger bed
There to bend the knee before
Him Whom Heaven and earth adore;
So may we with willing feet
Ever seek Thy mercy seat.
As they offered gifts most rare
At that manger rude and bare;
So may we with holy joy,
Pure and free from sin’s alloy,
All our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to Thee, our heavenly King.
Holy Jesus, every day
Keep us in the narrow way;
And, when earthly things are past,
Bring our ransomed souls at last
Where they need no star to guide,
Where no clouds Thy glory hide.
In the heavenly country bright,
Need they no created light;
Thou its Light, its Joy, its Crown,
Thou its Sun which goes not down;
There forever may we sing
Alleluias to our King!
~William Dix, 1860~
Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the LORD will arise upon you,
and His glory will be seen upon you.
And nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Lift up your eyes all around, and see;
they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from afar,
and your daughters shall be carried on the hip.
Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and exult,
because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
A multitude of camels shall cover you,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
and shall bring good news, the praises of the LORD.