Sunday, January 6, 2013

It´s An Epiphany!!!!

"We three kings of Orient are/Bearing gifts we traverse afar/Field and fountain, moor and mountain/Following yonder star."

Happy Epiphany.

In the liturgical year, Epiphany is when we celebrate the Wise Men finding Jesus. Carols.org gives the lyrics to the carol and a brief history of when it came to pass. I didn't know the song have 5 entire verses.

There are some misconceptions about the Wise Men.
A) Tradition says there were 3 Wise Men/Magi/Kings, but the verses referring to the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12) don't say how many there were. They gave three gifts, but that doesn't necessarily mean there were only three gift givers.

B) The song says "We three kings" but Matthew 2 says "magi" or "wise men"

C) Our nativity scenes show the wise men at the stable/manger. Matthew 2:11, says "On coming to the *house,* they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. (emphasis added). House. Not stable. For this reason, the high church celebrates the arrival of the wise men, 12 days after Christmas.

The following scriptures (Matthew, Luke, and Isaiah) for Epiphany was taken from the Nazarene hymnal, but the devotional ramblings are mine.

Matthew 2:1-9, 11 tells of the Magi (wise men) traveling to find Jesus, finding Jesus, and then returning home. 

Luke 2:30-32 is part of Simeon's praise to God from when Jesus was presented in the temple, as an 8-day-old baby. Simeon says (pun slightly intended) that Jesus will be "a light of revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel." This revelation to the Gentiles started when the Wise Men sought out Jesus.

Isaiah 60:1,3,19b,20b talks about how the light has come, nations and kings will be drawn to the light, God will be our light forever. I wonder if we get the idea of the "Three Kings" from Isaiah 60:3 mentioning kings will come to the light.

So have a happy epiphany. Celebrate the fact that salvation has come to the Gentiles!!

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