One of my favorite Christmas songs is "The Twelve Days of Christmas", but did you know that it is not the twelve days before Christmas...it is about the twelve days AFTER Christmas. Yep, the Twelve Days of Christmas are counted from December 25th until January 5th. Epiphany is the climax of the twelve days, falling on the thirteenth day after Christmas. It is an occasion for feasting in many cultures, with a special King’s cake often baked as part of the Epiphany festivities. Today, January 6, is the day of Epiphany. The term “epiphany” means “to show,” “to make known,” or “to reveal.” This holiday remembers the wise men, who brought gifts to the young Jesus, and by so doing, revealed Jesus as King to the world. Their story, and a much forgotten one, is told in Matthew 2:1-11:
"Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We have seen his star as it arose, and we have come to worship him.” Herod was deeply disturbed by their question, as was all of Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law. “Where did the prophets say the Messiah would be born?” he asked them.
“In Bethlehem,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote: `O Bethlehem of Judah, you are not just a lowly village in Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’ “ "Then Herod sent a private message to the wise men, asking them to come see him. At this meeting he learned the exact time when they first saw the star. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!” "After this interview the wise men went their way. Once again the star appeared to them, guiding them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house where the child and his mother, Mary, were, and they fell down before him and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (NLT)" What a cool story....I mean these men came to the King, bearing gifts of gold, frankensence and myrhh. These were very expensive gift. One of my favorite stories is "The Littlest Angel" and he too wants to take the new baby a gift...but all he has is this box full of his treasures from earth. I have thought all week about what kind of gift I would give. I realize it is not something I can get at Macy's or Walmart....it has to be a special gift. Then I thought about all the gifts and talents I have. God made me this way.... complete with these particular gifts and talents. These gifts help me to fulfill God’s good plans for my life. When I use them to bless others, I give my gift to God. So what kind of gifts do I have? What kind of gifts do you have? Are we using them as we should? I love the Gift of HOSPITALITY? I am not a baker...but I can cook. I love to cook things for the bereaved, a neighbor who is ill, or just because. I love to invite people into my house and share with them. As you all know I truly believe that I have the gift of TEACHING? I have taught bible studies, taught school, taught Sunday School, and spoken at conferences and churches. This is something I LOVE to do. I want everyone to know how God has blessed me and can bless them too. Another thing I love to do is GIVE and graciously? At Christmas we gathered gifts for some children in our community who would not have had Christmas otherwise. My tree was full of children's gifts....bicyles, games, dolls...it was awesome. Beth and I delivered them and that was even more fun....seeing the gleem in the eyes of the parents as we delivered the goodies. I love to give people things for no reason at all....I can them my just because gifts. Giving is so much fun. MERCY is a gift I struggle with. I love to visit shut-ins or people in the hospital or nursing homes. I love to go and sing for them. right now with the illness and death of my mom still fresh it is a hard one for me to do. Whatever you do....there is someone around who might possibly benefit from it. So as we celebrate this day, let’s consider how we can bring our gifts as an offering to our King. Happy Epiphany!
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
11 months ago