The Feast of the Epiphany is one of the seven principal feasts of the church year with a fixed date of January 6. In the Western Church it focuses on the coming of the magi and their adoration of the baby. In the Eastern Church epiphany—usually called the theophany— is about the baptism of Jesus. The West celebrates Jesus’ baptism on the Sunday after the Epiphany. The Feast of the Epiphany closes out the Christmas season and begins the Season of Epiphany.
Epiphany comes from the Greek word epiphaino. Epi means “upon” and phaino is translated as “to shine” or “to produce light,” “to become visible, appear,” “to become known, be recognized, be apparent, be revealed.”
When we think of the Epiphany we probably most often think of the star and the magi or wise men. But the Epiphany is a feast of our Lord’s life. It is a feast about Jesus not the star or the magi and their gifts. The star and the magi are simply our guides or pointers to Christ. The Epiphany celebrates the manifestation of Jesus’ divine nature and this takes place through his humanity. It is through Jesus’ humanity that we see God.
In celebrating the Epiphany we are asking God, who by the leading of a star manifested his Son to the peoples of the earth, to lead us to God’s presence where we may see God’s glory face to face, that Christ may be manifest in us, and our lives may be a light to the world. Not only are we illumined by the light of Christ we become illumination and our lives become epiphanies of Christ for each other.
This is beautiful, Mike. Your posting on “Becoming Epiphany” makes me feel especially blessed to have been born on the Day of the Epiphany. And it serves as a reminder of the deeper purpose of not only my life, but of the lives of all persons who have been baptized into the the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you!
Bryan, may God bless you with many years and the light of his love and life. Thank you for your comment and the mention on your blog.
Thank you, Michael. I am grateful to be reminded of the true meaning of Epiphany. Our granddaughter, Carson, age 11, was born on this day. I’m going to send this message to her in Colorado today. Again, thank you. I particularly appreciate the last paragraph of your thoughts: prayer that we may become a light of Epiphany to those around us. A good prayer for today.
Jan, I am glad this helped reveal the meaning of Epiphany, such a great day on which to be born. Perhaps every time we encounter the Epiphany light we are in some way reborn.
Hmm. Just signed up for your updates.
Also just pinned your post. If the way I quoted you is not okay, let me know and I’ll either change it or delete it (your choice;).
Cynthia Ann Leighton
Cynthia, thank you for pinning the post. The quotation is just right.
God bless you.