One of my earliest memories of observing The Epiphany as a child, was waking up very early on January 6th to a small gift on my window. Typically a pair of house shoes, special socks, or a new coat. The gifts were always very modest, and never wrapped.
Though her budget was tight, and she was a single parent, my mom always made sure ‘a little something’ was waiting for us at that window. My sister and I did not understand the meaning of the gift, or the reason it was always waiting at the window, but we counted on it being there.
As we got older, the gifts came in the forms of cash, gift certificates or travel bags. Still, the meaning remained mysterious.
When I became a mother, and my son was just a few weeks old, mom showed up at my door, very early on January 6th. A small pair of shoes in hand, which she placed on my son’s window. She could never explain the meaning of the gift, other than to say, it is what her mother did for her.
The Epiphany, and Why You Need to Observe It
The Epiphany or 3 Kings Day commemorates the day the wise men concluded their long journey and saw Jesus.
Like Mary and Joseph, the journey the wise men embarked on was not easy. They traveled a very long way, following a star. This likely means a great deal of their journey took place at night. The account in the book of Matthew does not provide a specific time frame but after a closer look, Bible scholars believe their arrival may have been as long as a year after Christ was born.
Matthew tells us, that while in Jerusalem the wise men met with Herod the king; seeking the king of the Jews.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
Matthew 2:1-2 (ESV)
These wise men, with the help of scripture and a star believed a true King worthy of a long and arduous journey, deserved their praise and adoration. They would not give up, until they were face to face with the King of Kings.
You can read the entire account on Matthew 2:1-12.
Jesus revealed Himself as King through the visit of the wise men. When they saw Him, they worshipped Him by giving Him gifts worthy of a King.
The Christmas story does not end on the manger. The wise men traveled for months to sit and worship at the feet of a child. Jesus was the sole purpose of the journey, which is much like our own.
Following Christ is not easy. The journey can be long, filled with obstacles, and men like Herod along the way.
However, the reward at the end, is the face-to-face fellowship with Christ. Like the wise men, we ought to keep following the light, and remember that Jesus is the sole purpose of our journey.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12 (ESV)
What gifts of worship and adoration are you bringing before Him?