Friday, January 6, 2012

The Feast of the Epiphany

January 6 marks the Feast of the Epiphany, the liturgical date used to commemorate the Wise Men’s arrival from the East to see the child Jesus, as told in the Gospel of Matthew. It is the date which culminates the twelve days of Christmastide, and is some cultures is the date for traditional gift giving.  

Unfortunately, Christmas – as celebrated in the United States – begins with commercial bombardment at least by Thanksgiving (in some cases as early as Halloween!) with radio stations giving entire programming to Christmas jingles and advertisers promoting what you really need to buy this season. It all comes to a crashing halt by dinner on Christmas Day for many, and completely vanishes on December 26.

My friend Loren Peters is a recent graduate from The Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin Texas. He has been reminding his friends on Facebook that there are twelve days of Christmas celebration by posting a brief sentence on his status each day about regarding each day of Christmas. It is a refreshing reminder of what is now foreign to so many: that Chrismas does not end on Christmas Day.  It BEGINS on December 25 and goes on for 12 days until Epiphany on January 6. 

After all, isn't EPIPHANY what we hope will actually happen to us every once in a while? That there will be a moment when we find ourselves within proximity and realization of the Ground of All Being right before our eyes! It could happen anytime; we can use this day to remind us to be aware of it when that moment comes.


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