Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Wise Men Still Seek Him
After they heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
Epiphany, or Three Kings' Day, occurs twelve days after Christmas Day according to liturgical church calendars. It is the time when we recall the Magi's visit to Jesus with their precious gifts, worshiping and paying homage to Him as King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2).
While in many cultures throughout the world, Epiphany is regarded as a holiday to be celebrated unto itself, in American tradition, the Wise Men are, more often than not, reduced to being cameos in a nativity scene. Their arrival in Bethlehem, instead of occurring months or possibly years after Jesus' birth as some scholars contend, becomes simultaneous with the appearance of the Son of God into the world.
And after Christmas Day is past, most families hustle and bustle to dismantle all the decorations, storing them safely away before the New Year rolls around. Stashing the three Wise Men along with the rest, though their official day of recognition and remembrance has yet to come.
Not this year.
Not in any future year.
No more putting-up-the-tree and frantically decorating the day after Thanksgiving.
Because Christmas Day doesn't end the season of Christmas, it begins it. Twelve days. Twelve glee-filled, glorious, lights-twinkling, deck-the-halls days to celebrate the coming of the Light of the World.
I think it's high time to revive this tried and true tradition.
So although I will take down the decorations the day before Epiphany, my handsome trio of Wise Men will remain on display until the sun goes down on their special day.
After all, being the first ones to recognize Jesus as the one and only King, they deserve their moment in the spotlight.
And thanks be to God, like the Magi of old, wise men and women still seek Him.
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