Friday, January 4, 2013

Why Is There Epiphany?

Because the festival of Epiphany is part of the church year and developed as the Christian church grew, you will not find the word “epiphany” in the Bible.  I did think it was important to include it, however, because many churches still celebrate Epiphany as part of the church calendar.

3 Wise Men
The word “epiphany” comes from the Greek and means “appearance” or “manifestation.”  It is celebrated on January 6 and the twelve days starting on December 25 and ending on January 5 have been call “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”  In Western Christianity January 6 has always celebrated the appearance of Jesus to the Gentiles, or non-Jewish people.  This appearance is represented by the coming of the Wise Men to see the baby Jesus as told in Matthew 2:1-12.

In Eastern Christianity Epiphany is a celebration of the baptism of Jesus.  This story, told in Mark 1:9-11 tells about the appearance of Jesus to all of humanity as the Son of God.