Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Blessed Epiphany

What Is Epiphany?

“Epiphany” means “manifestation” or “appearance.” Christians have observed a day of Epiphany to commemorate the revelation of the Messiah in connection with the visit of the Wise Men. Many churches in the Western world celebrate this day either on January 6 (at the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas) or on the Sunday closest to this date. Some call it “Three Kings Day.”

So Epiphany Is A Day, Not A Season Like Advent or Lent?

Right. Traditionally. But more and more congregations and families are treating Epiphany as a season of the Church Calendar. It’s a time to focus on the gradual revelation of Jesus’ person and mission in the minds and hearts of his disciples as He ministered on earth, and a time to realize our own mission: to spread the gospel, declare “the Kingdom is at hand,” and carry the “ministry of reconciliation” wherever we go.

Why Should Christians Observe Epiphany?

Epiphany — especially if treated as a season in your private devotions, church services or family worship — is designed to highlight key aspects of our Savior’s earthly ministry, such as:

  • the miracles of Jesus
  • the parables of Jesus
  • the prophecies of Jesus
  • the teachings of Jesus, such as the Sermon on the Mount

It is also a natural bridge between Christmas, the celebration of Christ’s coming, and Lent, the period of lament, reflection and confession leading to the cross. So in short, Epiphany, as part of the Christian Year, is a tool for preaching the gospel to yourself, your family and your congregation.

What Are Some Bible Texts And Statements Of Faith Applying To Epiphany?

  • Psalm 72
  • Isaiah 49:5-7 and Isaiah 60
  • Matthew 2:1-12
  • Luke 13:22-30
  • John 8:12
  • Romans 15:5-13
  • 2 Corinthians 4:4-6
  • Ephesians 3:1-12
  • Titus 2:11-14
  • Revelation 21:22-26
Lectionary Readings:

Psalm 72:1-7,10-14;
Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12

Preface of the Incarnation

PRAYER (contemporary language)

O God, who by the leading of a star 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.

(With help from Sojourn)

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