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Every day all around the globe, artists on mission are creating, cultivating, and contributing in their communities. As they seek to see their art used in the work the Lord is doing, we want to share their stories to encourage and inspire.
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Wednesday, 23 February 2022 22:30

Epiphany - Celebrating God With Us

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Although Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th, the church observes the season of Epiphany from that point until the beginning of the Lenten season with Ash Wednesday. In the midst of this Epiphany season, what can we learn?

Epiphany celebrates when the child Jesus was visited by the Magi. They brought three gifts – gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The gospel of Matthew records it this way, “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed beyond measure. Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother, and falling to their knees, they worshipped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matt. 2:10-11 HCSB). The beauty of this passage in Scripture is that Christ revealed Himself to the Gentiles. We are told in the earlier verses of this passage that the wise men were “from the east” (see verse 1). The word “epiphany” means to reveal or to show. The Magi were not Jews, and their visit marks the first appearance of Jesus to non-Jews. Often during Epiphany, believers will engage in “chalking” the door. This practice involves sandwiching the Magi’s initials (according to church tradition, the Magi were named Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar) with the numerals of the year, separated by crosses. For example, a chalking for this year would read “20+C+M+B+22.” “CMB” is also an abbreviation for the Latin for “May Christ bless the house,” “Christus mansionem benedicat.”[1]

As I reflected on this, I began to consider the meaning of Immanuel, given just several verses earlier in Matthew 1:23. God with us. And indeed, He came to be with us – and with us all! He is a King who offers Himself to anyone who comes to Him. He revealed Himself to the Gentiles as a young child, and He came for all tribes and tongues to make a way for them! In this Epiphany season, I cannot help but stop to celebrate Christ making Himself known to me. To thank Him for revealing Himself to all and desiring that all might know Him. For being God with us – every moment of every day.

On Epiphany Sunday, the following collect is offered in the Episcopal Church. May it remind us to continually live in awe of the presence of Christ in our lives.

O God, who by the leading of a star did manifest thy only begotten Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know thee now by faith, to thy presence, where we may behold thy glory face to face; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.[2]

 

[1] Bratcher, Dennis. “The Season of Epiphany.” Crivoice.org/cyepiph.html

[2] The Book of Common Prayer

Last modified on Wednesday, 23 February 2022 22:32