Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany are the three pieces of the Nativity Triptych. Epiphany, whether it is considered a day or a season, is the often slighted third part of the triptych. But without Epiphany the Christmas story would have stayed in the manger in a tiny town in a small country in the Middle East.
The three main Scripture readings for Epiphany let us know that God is up to something special in Jesus:
- The visit of the magi and their impressive gifts indicate the specialness of this child. When the magi return to their distant lands they scatter the first seeds of the amazing birth story. (Matthew 2)
- At the wedding at Cana in Galilee, Jesus turns water into wine–fine wine, no less. This manifestation or “shining forth” of Jesus’ identity tells the first of his many miracles. (John 2)
- At Jesus’ Baptism by Jesus, God announces, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:13-17)
Here are a couple of things I do to remember that Epiphany celebrates the exponential movement of the Gospel story throughout the world:
- Remove the Christmas ornaments from my tree and cover it with stars
- Turn the magi away from the crèche and move them further and further each day
- Read the Epiphany stories.
- Think about how my story intersects with the Gospel Story.