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Epiphany

On this day we celebrate Epiphany.  The last day of the Christmas season.  For most people, Christmas was over with on December 25th. Presents were all opened, the Christmas dinner was eaten and it was time to put the whole holiday season to bed.  Some people even take down their trees on Christmas Day so their lives can return to “normal”.

For me, and many other people, Christmas starts on December 25th and lasts until January 6th, the day of Epiphany.  According to the ELCA’s (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) website: “On the day of Epiphany, January 6, the church celebrates the revelation of Christ to all nations as represented by the magi who come to worship Jesus. The church calendar recognizes the season of Epiphany from January 6 until the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday which is celebrated as the Transfiguration of our Lord. The length of the season of Epiphany varies and is determined by working backwards through the season of Lent from the moveable date for the celebration of Easter.”  It goes on to state the Principal Themes of Epiphany:

Principal Themes

  • The revelation of Christ to all nations
  • Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan
  • Christ as the light of the world
  • The public ministry of Jesus Christ, including Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana
  • Growth in a Christian’s baptized identity

So for those of us who recognize how the season truly works, the days leading up to Christmas are all preparation for the grand celebration of Jesus’ birth.  Then, for the twelve days after that (yes, those are the Twelve Days of Christmas), we celebrate the joy of the season culminating in the magi arriving to visit Jesus in Bethlehem.

Despite what many people may think, Christmas is not a one day holiday. It lasts for days.  Then, when it is truly over, “normal” life should be lived with the spirit of Christmas in our hearts throughout the year.

I love Christmas.  The music, the lights, the decorations, the giving of presents….all of it.  Someday, if I have kids, I would love to have a family tradition of celebrating each day leading up to Christmas with an Advent calendar and lighting an Advent wreath.  Then, starting with Christmas Day, celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas with the honor, joy and celebration they deserve.  I haven’t worked out all the details but I truly want the holiday to last so that Christmas feeling will be planted in our hearts and stay there forever.

Happy Epiphany, everyone!!!

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