Dear Friends We are now entering the season of Epiphany. The Twelfth Night (Epiphany) also marks a visit to the baby Jesus by the Magi, (also referred to as the three Kings, or Wise Men).
The word ‘Epiphany’ comes from Greek and means ‘manifestation’, It celebrates ‘the revelation of God in his Son as human in Jesus Christ’. In the West, Christians began celebrating the Epiphany in the 4th century, associating it with the visit of the Wise Men to Jesus.
The Magi found baby Jesus by following a star across the desert to Bethlehem. The three wise men – mamed Melchjior, Caspar and Balthazar – followed the star of Bethlehem to meet the baby Jesus. According to Matthew 2:11, the Magi offered gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The gifts were symbolic of the importance of Jesus’ birth, the gold representing his royal standing, frankincense his divine birth, and myrrh his morality.
During the medieval period, Christmas was celebrated for the 12 days from Christmas Eve on December 24, until the Epiphany. Even up until the time when we remember the Holy Family fleeing their home because of threats to their lives. Let us remember all who have had to flee in such circumstances in our world today.
All Good Wishes Richard, Rector of Lewes