By now a lot of people have taken down their Christmas decorations and stored them away for another year. But according to the church calendar, the Christmas season is still in full effect. For us the Christmas season ends with Epiphany on January the 6th.
The word “epiphany” means manifestation or revelation. The arrival of the Magi or wise men and the associated events is the focus of this season. The bright star they saw was for them an epiphany, revealing that a special new king had been born, one which they set out to find. Their travels brought them before King Herod. Epiphany reminds us that the Jesus story has never been separable from political affairs.
Jesus has always been a challenge and a threat to those who wield worldly power. So we can not talk only about the desire of the wise men to honor “the new born king,” but we must also remember the attempt of King Herod to kill the baby Jesus so his own power would not be disputed.
Because of the threat of King Herod Jesus became a refugee, along with his mother Mary and Joseph who fled with him to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15). This story shapes the values of Christians. Since our Lord was a refugee, we are compelled to raise our voices on behalf of refugees and help insure they are welcomed into safety. For us it is a matter of faith.
We remember and celebrate the Epiphany events. But for Christians they are not just tales of a distant past. They call us to live faithfully and compassionately in the present to the glory of our Lord.
Grace and Peace,