Since last year (2015 actually) when I learned about the Church calendar (I talk a bit about my discovery here) I've become more focused on where we are in the biblical timeline than on what the calendar on the wall is telling me.
This year, for the first time, I celebrated the 12 days of Christmas. The realities of the incarnation deserve more than one, often distracted, day of ponderance. And I can already see how I might better celebrate these days next year. The last day of Christmas is January 5th and is followed, on January 6th, by the day of Epiphany. A day, which until this year, has meant nothing to me.
An epiphany is known to most of us as an illuminating discovery. The biblical meaning of the word is much along these same lines. The Epiphany is the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (aka Wisemen).
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him."
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: "'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd My people Israel.'" Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him."
After listening to the king, they went on their way. 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. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. (Mat 2:1-12)
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We picture the Wiseman bowed before a cradle, yet it is much more likely that they bowed before a wide-eyed toddler while His mother looked on in a state of awe.
I've pondered long why these mysterious men from the far east were given such great knowledge about the coming of the Jewish King. They were not "God's people." They held no claim to the Jewish God. Why would they make such an arduous and long journey to worship the Jewish boy King? and why does the Bible tell us about them and their gifts?
The answer is an illuminating discovery. It is a mystery unveiled. A revelation. One that the apostle Paul spent his life communicating to all who would listen.
The answer means everything to me and, unless you are a Jew, the answer should mean everything to you as well.
Jesus was not just the King of the Jews.
He is King of all.
He is King of all.
Jesus did not just die to save the Jewish people.
He died to save the world.
He died to save the world.
The day of Epiphany celebrates the first glimpse of this truth.
When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (Eph 3:4-6)
I hope you will take a moment today to feast on this knowledge that we are fellow heirs and partakers of the promise. Christ has made a way. He has removed the barrier and torn the veil. We have, as wise men and wise women, full access to the one true God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
May the reality of this truth illuminate your heart today.
Sharing inspiration here:
Small Wonders, Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty