noun (pl. epiphanies) (also Epiphany)
the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1–12).
- the festival commemorating the Epiphany on January 6.
It is a story we all know, but have we really spent much time thinking about it? The three wise men (or Magi) who followed the star to Bethlehem were doing so because they believed that a king had been born. But they had no clear idea of what kind of king he would be, so they created a test for the baby king. They brought with them three gifts: gold, frankincense and myhrr. Their thought was to place each of the three gifts in front of the baby and see which one he reached for. After seeing which gift he chose they would know what kind of a king he would be. If the child chose the gold, he would be a “worldly” king interested in the things of this earth. If he chose the frankincense he would be a “heavenly” king offering incense to God. If he reached out for the myhrr he would be just like every other man and his life would end in death.
They must have been surprised and a bit confused when Jesus reached out and took all three gifts. Jesus chose to live among us as one of us. His love for us was (and still is) so strong that he had to share our earthly experience with us. In that sense He was a “worldly” king. But by grabbing the frankincense Jesus indicated that he was also a “heavenly” king whose mission was to bring the people closer to God. Finally, by taking the myhrr, Jesus foretold of His own death. (Myhhr is a type of perfume that was used to anoint the dead.)
The concept of resurrection was probably not one that the Magi were familiar with. Yes, Jesus would die just as every other man or woman has or will. But He rose from the dead to show us that life does not end but it changes. The love of God is eternal and it is ours. Be at peace as the Christmas season ends and always remember that God loves you.