What a day for Epiphany.
It’s eleventy-hundred degrees below zero.
The commute was the worst of the season.
And somehow we have a house full of left hand mittens only.
But still, it’s Epiphany.
A day full of wonder and awe and joy.
Not because of the gifts presented to the newborn king, but because through the 3 Magi, we see God continuing to reveal a light into the darkness.
We continue to see God with us.
Because really, before this, God was with the house of Israel.
God was with the chosen people.
But today, on Epiphany, God chooses to be with all of us.
Epiphany is how we celebrate that God widened the scope of salvation to include everyone.
Those Magi are important, but because of what they mean, not what they bring.
God comes to all of us.
ALL OF US.
And so it’s worth taking time out today to celebrate, to remember, to pause in the cold of the day and the stress of the commute and busyness of life and be with the Magi as they first encounter Jesus.
So… how might we celebrate Epiphany today?
Because the Magi brought gifts, we might assume that we should too… that it’s another day to give gifts to one another.
But no, I think Epiphany is more about recognizing God’s gifts to us.
And our gift from God is Jesus.
“the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8)
This is what inspires the awe and wonder of the Magi.
Our gift from God.
So today, on Epiphany, here’s what we can do to celebrate:
Take a minute.
Light a candle.
OR – if you want to do something more… here are some other ideas from around the world to celebrate Epiphany:
1. In some church traditions, families gather at the door of their home on Epiphany to bless the home for the following year. One person writes over the doorway No. 2, then the letters C, M and B, and finally the last two digits of the current year. Between each letter and number is a plus sign, signifying the cross. The letters C, M, and B represent the names that tradition has given to the three wise men — Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. They’re also the first three words of the Latin phrase “Christus mansionem benedicat,” which means, “Christ bless this house.”
2. In many countries, the Feast of Epiphany includes a delicious cake that is cut into pieces and served to everyone present. The cake’s ingredients differ from country to country. In France, the cake is a puff pastry filled with “frangipane” or sweet bun. In Spain and Mexico, the “rosca de royas” is made of sweet egg bread and is typically layered with frosting and fruit slices. Inside these cakes, a tiny bean is hidden representing the Christ child. When the cake is carved into pieces, whoever finds the bean is crowned king of the feast.
(info from http://www.ehow.com/how_9405_celebrate-feast-epiphany.html)
I love both of these, blessing the house seems like a lovely tradition to do each year, and despite finding a hidden and baked baby Jesus kind of creepy, I can always get behind any tradition that involves eating cake.
However you do it, celebrate today.
God’s plan includes YOU.
That is worth a celebration.