What is Epiphany?
Epiphany is a Greek word that means the revelation of something that has been hidden. In the ancient world, the invincible sun’s power was reevaled with each dawn. So it was logical that the sun’s supreme power should be an image for the Son’s revelation of his Father’s power, if one could s beyond his humble birth an humiliating death
Why do we celebrate Epiphany?
Epiphany is the third part of the Christmas season. During this special season in the Church Year, we remember the visit of the Wise Men. Traditionally, this visit is celebrated on Jan. 6. Epiphany also brings to mind many other important events in Jesus’ life. For example, we remember Jesus’ Baptism, the star that guided the Wise Men, and most importantly, His birth!
Were priest-scholars from the ancient world, not kings. The early Christians were fascinated by them. The magi appear in countless Christina mosaics and manuscripts - colorful visitors from "the nations" in the otherwise humble nativity story.
Led the magi because they believed that stars announced cosmic events. King David , too wrote that “the heavens do God’s will, declaring his glory” (Psalm 19:11). Th magi would have recognized the royal symbols in the ancient Jewish scripture passage: “A royal star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter .… out of Israel” (Numbers 24:17),
Gold, frankincense and myrrh
These are gifts suited for royalty -- and or death, for myrrh may have been used by Nicodemus to embalm Jesus. Moses offered myrrh on the new altar of the first tabernacle, and Psalm 45 calls it a perfume fit for a king. The Romans used it as a perfume, medicine and incense.
Baptism is closely tied to Epiphany, since the day of Jesus’ baptism is observed on the next Sunday. In the eastern church Epiphany was the day to receive new members through baptism. They were called illuminandi – those who were about to be brought into the light by Christ’s redemption, healing and knowledge.