“Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. ” – John 2:11
Psalm 72:1-14 • Isaiah 60:1-6 • Ephesians 3:1-12 • Matthew 2:1-12
Epiphany gets lost in the shuffle of Christmas, New Years, our return to work, and the beginning of the new semester. However, its celebration actually predates our celebration of Christmas. Christians in the east called it Theophany which means “appearance of God”. The events commemorated include the visitation of the three wise men, Christ’s baptism, and Christ’s first miracle.
The visitation of the wise men demonstrates that Christ is recognized to be King of the Jews and of the Gentiles. Jesus of Nazareth is King over all. This is an epiphany to the world. A sudden and sure recognition of Christ’s kingship.
Christ’s baptism is considered a theophany, or manifestation of God. As Christ emerged from the waters of baptism a dove descended (which represented the Holy Spirit) and the voice of the Father was heard declaring his approval of Jesus the Messiah.
Christ’s first miracle involved turning water into wine at a wedding feast in Cana. (John 2:1-11) John describes this miracle as the first of Jesus’ signs, which reveal Christ’s glory as Son of God and Lord over all. (It also seems to be a good argument against teetotalism.)
Now that we have anticipated Christ’s coming in Advent, witnessed his birth in the season of Christmas, we witness his life and ministry. Through the book of Matthew especially, but through all of the Gospels as well, we get to watch the way Christ lived his life and loved God his Father. We get to hear again, for some of us it may be the first time, Jesus’ teachings and witness his miracles.
Epiphany is one day, January 6. But, it leads us further into a year of seeing Jesus before us and finding Jesus within and around us.
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.