The joy of the Christian calendar is that the celebration does not end this week. We merely transition from one celebration to another. As Wednesday marked the end of Christmas, it also marked the beginning of Epiphany. Epiphany, meaning manifestation or revealing, celebrates the arrival of the wise men from the East to see the newborn King. This moment fulfilled the prophecies of old which foretold of a time when the nations would be gathered back to God through Israel’s relationship with Him (see Isaiah 42:6). Jesus, representative of Israel and in perfect relationship with God, is made known to the world as the star shines as a spotlight upon Him.
We rejoice in this moment, because it is good news for all. Good news that the way to God is opened to all through Jesus Christ, as He shines the way for each of us to come into relationship with Him. In every age the invitation stands to imitate the example of the wise men and come to Jesus. One eloquent preacher and bishop in our tradition by the name of Lancelot Andrewes noted,
They came a long journey, and they came an uneasy journey; they came a dangerous journey and they came now, at the worst season of the year. They stayed not their coming till the opening of the year, till they might have better weather and way, and have longer days and so more seasonable and fit to travel in. So desirous were they to come with the first, and to be there as soon as they possibly might; broke through all these difficulties, and behold, come they did.
And we, what excuse shall we have if we come not? If so short and easy a way we come not, as from our chambers hither? And these wise men were never a whit less wise for so coming; nay, to come to Christ is one of the wisest parts that ever these wise men did. And if they and we be wise in one Spirit, we will follow the same star, tread the same way, and so come at last wither they are happily gone before us.
Many cultures continue the festivities with a King Cake, parades, and other customs to recall this momentous occasion. As we live under the reality of the Resurrection, perhaps you may embrace or start such a custom in your home. You could make crowns to wear, have a special dinner, or pick up King Cake as a way to remember and celebrate the greatest moment in human history. May we celebrate this season to help us reflect, return, and ever hold fast to the Good News manifest to the world in Jesus Christ our Lord.