Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him. Matthew 2:2

The Feast of Epiphany commemorates the journey of a group of wise men from the East who realized that something unusual was happening in the night sky and began a pilgrimage to find where and to whom the star would lead them. What they found was the Christ, and when they did, they worshipped him.

The word “Epiphany” comes from the Greek word “epiphaneia” which means “manifestation.” The Feast of Epiphany commemorates the manifestation to the wise men of the divinity of the baby Jesus. Because the Magi came from afar, were led by God, and were not Jewish this event also manifests that Christ came for all, not just for the Jews.

Epiphany observances originally also included commemoration of the manifestation of Jesus’ divinity when he was baptized in the River Jordan (“This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.”) and manifestation of Jesus’ divinity when he performed the miracle of turning water to wine at the wedding in Cana. The Eastern Orthodox churches still include all three. The western church now celebrates the baptism of Jesus separately on the Sunday after Epiphany.

Whether the commemoration service centers primarily on one event, or on all three, the primary message is the same. God has manifested himself in our lives through Jesus Christ. The Epiphany message is a message of faith, hope, and love— a message that God loves us and that God comes to all. “. . .we have seen his star. . . and have come to worship him.”

How has God manifested himself in your life? How will you manifest him to others?

In Christ,

Nancy Young
National President
The Episcopal Community