Today is the Feast of Epiphany, the climax of the Advent/Christmas season when we remember the time when the Magi came to visit and bring gifts to the child Jesus. For this reason, in some cultures, this day is also known as Three Kings Day. The Magi’s visit was significant because these men from the East were the first Gentiles to have an epiphany (an unveiling or revealing) of who Jesus was. As Simeon had prophesied over Jesus at the Temple, this special child would become a “light for revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2:32) and the magi were the first among countless others who would acknowledge Jesus’ kingship.
But as we believers know, Jesus was not just any king, He was the Son of God, God made flesh, and in fact Savior of the world. Yet the truths of Jesus’s eternal, salvific identity were not made clear to everyone right way. Instead, these truths were slowly unveiled or revealed to the world over Jesus’ lifetime and especially after His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. As the Gospels make clear, his followers were continually having epiphanies of who Jesus was over the course of their lifetimes, and these epiphanies in fact were life-changing.
In the next few weeks of the Church Year, we get to observe some of these life-changing epiphanies in the lives of Jesus’ disciples and observers. While we now technically move back into the Season of Ordinary Time until the Season of Lent begins, in many ways, we can consider all these weeks leading up to Lent as an Epiphany season – a time when Jesus is revealed to us in various ways.
We’ll see people like Simeon and Anna prophesying about Jesus’s destiny as He is presented at the Temple as a child. We’ll see Jesus baptized and the Father revealing His identity in that signficant moment. We’ll also see Jesus radiant and transfigured, with the Father again once speaking over Him about His identity. And we’ll see much more.
For many of us, we may feel a bit disappointed as we leave the joys of the Christmas Season behind and move into a new season, but truthfully speaking, so many exciting things are now ahead of us as Christ is revealed to us more and more. So let’s get excited and pray to God that in this upcoming season, we would have our own epiphanies about who Jesus is and who He is calling us to be.
Jesus, in this New Year, may we know you more deeply and more richly than ever before.