The entire story of Christmas is filled with mysterious events, which can only be believed by faith in the One who made them happen. The story of God’s taking on human flesh, being born of a virgin mother, following the lineage of King David, a King Himself yet born in poverty. A continuing story that took that little babe through childhood and manhood only to suffer and die on a cross of torture to pay for the sins of the world. It is a tale as old as time, because it demonstrates God’s love for His creation and the lengths He goes to in order to preserve it. When Jesus rose and conquered death, He gave us His assurance of an eternal life with Him.
On the twelfth day after Christmas, we celebrate the Epiphany – or manifestation of the Divine to the Gentile nations as the magi came to worship the child of Bethlehem. Following the same bright star which the shepherds saw, they found the child with His mother and step dad in a house in Bethlehem. The King of Kings was revealed to the entire world upon that day.
We’ve kind of gotten away from celebrating this special holiday. For some it simply means it’s time to take down the Christmas tree and put away the decorations for another. For others it can be the final celebration of the Holy Nativity. Shakespeare wrote a play entitled, “The Twelfth Night,” which was performed at the end of the Christmas season. The song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” was written, based on a children’s verse which carried down through generations probably originating in France. Each day represents another gift given during the twelve days between Christmas and the celebration of the Epiphany feast.
Many versions of the lyrics have been made over the centuries. The song remains a favorite in the Christmas carol repertoire. It’s more of a game to test your memory, I think. Each gift is symbolic of gifts intended for a King.
The beauty of this holiday, in my opinion, is that God opened up His salvation to the entire world, when the Magi came to visit His Son. It wasn’t reserved only for the Jews. They came expecting to find a worldly king, like so many thought the Messiah would be. They brought gifts of great value – Gold; Frankincense – a sweet aroma that would be used in the temple to send as an offering to God; Myrrh – a spice used in the embalming process. Each significant for the Lamb of God.
Carrying on some of the old traditions of Christmas has diminished, because of the commercialization of the holiday. Now the focus has changed to how big our gifts are, how much we spend, what WE get out of it and everything but the true message of the birth of Christ. This little baby was born so we could live forever. He would take our sins upon His own shoulders and free us from guilt and shame. He died and rose again so that we could do the same. He shines as the Light of the World through all eternity. It was a plan only He could come up with.
HAPPY EPIPHANY DAY!