Not many people celebrate all 12 days to Christmas and the Magi are late to a party that for many of us is over. Most of us have moved on by taking down the tree, putting away the decorations, and are focusing on our resolutions for 2015.
Epiphany (“manifestation”) is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. The observance had its origins in the Eastern Christian Churches and was a general celebration of the manifestation of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. It included the commemoration of his birth; the visit of the Magi all of Jesus' childhood events, up to and including his baptism in the Jordan by John the Baptist; and even the miracle at the wedding at Cana in Galilee.
Christians fixed the date of the feast on January 6 quite early in their history with the earliest reference to Epiphany as a Christian feast was in A.D. 361, by Ammianus Marcellinus. Perhaps the most familiar Christmas carol associated with Epiphany is "We Three Kings of Orient Are" (how many of you sang the alternate lyrics about loading rubber cigars?!), written by the Reverend John Henry Hopkins, Jr., then an ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church, instrumental in organizing an elaborate holiday pageant (which featured this hymn) for the students of the General Theological Seminary in New York City in 1857 while serving as the seminary's music director.
In all honesty, it’s a little hard to write this because my brain is still reeling from the events in Paris. When will the craziness and heartache end? I read in a magazine today that we have 1440 minutes each day. I’ve heard this before but now it’s really on my radar. It was suggested in this article that we should designate one minute a day to praying for peace. Pastor talked about goals in his sermon last Sunday and I think this will be my new goal for 2015. That, and inspired by those crazy Magi who risked life and limb to check out this star in Bethlehem, I think it’s OK to have faith in my faith and savor life just a little bit more.