The star proclaims the King is here!

The star proclaims the King is here!

FARMERSVILLE (Jan. 4, 2018) – Two days from now, Jan. 6 (Saturday), millions of Christians will be celebrating Epiphany (a revelation). But what is Epiphany, (it’s a funny sounding word, isn’t it?) and why is it important? As a child and young Christian, I didn’t have a clue. And today, I suspect a good number of Christians don’t know either.

In the early church, the 12 days following Christmas Day (Dec. 26-Jan. 6) were considered a continuation of the celebration of the birth of our Lord. Epiphany marked the end of the Christmas celebration. Epiphany changes the emphasis. It celebrates the beginning of the proclamation of the gospel ─ to the nations ─ by the visit of the Magi, as they said, “to worship” the “king of the Jews” (Matthew 2:2).

And why is Epiphany important? First, the word “Epiphany” itself reminds us of what Christmas is about. On Christmas Eve God announced to the shepherds, an epiphany, that the One whom God promised would “crush the serpent’s head” was born (Genesis 3:15). God did not abandon His people but planned for a Savior to come and He did. As the Son of God and son of man, Jesus defeated the devil on the cross, “(It is finished.” John 19:30). He rose victorious after three days and now gives eternal life to all who believe in Him.

Secondly, the historic reading for Epiphany, Matthew 2 (which is the coming of the Magi to worship the King of the Jews) reminds us that salvation is for all people. We Gentiles were the wild olive shoot, and God in His mercy grafted us to His fruitful and beloved olive tree (Romans 11). What a blessing to us!

Finally, Epiphany reminds us that there are others whom God wants to come and worship the One who was promised to Adam and Eve. Epiphany should spur us on in proclaiming God’s saving acts.

Now, your church might or might not celebrate Epiphany, but observing Epiphany and reading the Matthew 2 account of the Magi at church or at home, reminds us of the blessing we have through the One whose birth we celebrate on Dec. 25.

Here is a brief prayer for Epiphany. “O God, by the leading of a star you 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 forever. Amen.

Rev. Micheal Strong is pastor of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 501 Nobbe, Farmersville. Questions or comments may be directed to him via email at strong@eosinc.com.