The feast of Epiphany (“manifestation”) concludes the Christmas season with a celebration of God’s glory revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. In Isaiah and Ephesians, that glory is proclaimed for all nations and people. Like the light of the star that guided the magi to Jesus, the light of Christ reveals who we are: children of God who are claimed and washed in the waters of baptism. We are sent out to be beacons of the light of Christ, sharing the good news of God’s love to all people.
The word Epiphany means “showing forth,” and it names the day that the church tells Matthew’s story of the magi from foreign lands who follow the light of the star and thus “see” Jesus as Christ. Their gifts are symbols: gold, because they honor Jesus as the king; frankincense, because they worship Jesus as divine; and myrrh, because they are readying for his death.