Feast of The Epiphany

I am under the weather, but wanted to give you this little gift - a collage of artwork from around the world imagining the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child.  During the season of Epiphany, I'll sharing a post each Sunday to mark the journey of Christ, as He manifests God's presence among men.  I'm also excited to share again a guest post each week from friends around the world, sharing witness of Christ's presence in their own neighborhoods.  

The Word became Flesh and moved into the neighborhood....

The Feast of the Epiphany is the final feast day of the Christmas season. It celebrates those events in Christ’s early life that revealed his divine nature to those around him. In a larger sense, this feast reminds us that the Incarnation involves the announcement of salvation to “all nations.” The Good News is not for a privileged group but for everyone everywhere.

”Epiphany” comes from the Greek word “epiphaneia”, which is translated both as “coming” and as “manifestation” or “appearing.” While Christmas celebrates Christ’s coming in the Incarnation event, Epiphany celebrates manifestation - the ways in which the Incarnation is revealed to us.

The feast of the Epiphany originated in the Eastern Church. It was celebrated as early as the third century, even before Christmas was part of the liturgical calendar. For early Christians, Epiphany was primarily a feast celebrating the manifestation of Christ as his baptism, when it was revealed to those present that Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God. The feast also celebrated other events that revealed Christ’s identity to the world, including the Magi’s adoration of the Christ-child and Jesus’ first miracle at the wedding at Cana.

In the early church, Epiphany was also a commemoration of Christ’s nativity - God made manifest through his literal appearance in the flesh. This changed in the fourth century, when the church began to observe the feast of the Incarnation on Christmas Day. As December 25 became the sole feast devoted to Christ’s nativity, the focus of Epiphany was narrowed to commemorate other important manifestations of Christ.
— God With Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas
O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the Peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
— Book of Common Prayer
house blessing.jpg

One of the most meaningful activities we've done on Epiphany is a house blessing.  This can be as simple as marking the doorways with chalk and a prayer of blessing or as specific as praying through each room of the house with specific prayers like those found in the traditional Anglican House blessing. (Click here for a pdf version of an Anglican House Blessing.)