EPIPHANY

INTRODUCTION & HISTORY

December 29 – February 29

HOW TO USE THE DEVOTIONAL
FAMILY DISCIPLESHIP
PODCAST
PLAYLIST

Week 5
December 29 – January 4
Week 10
February 2 -February 8
Week 6
January 6 – January 11
Week 11
February 9 -February 15
Week 7
January 12 – January 18
Week 12
February 16 -February 22
Week 8
January 19 – January 25
Week 13
February 23 -February 29
Week 9
January 26 – February 1
 

WEEKS 05-13

December 29 – February 29

INTRODUCTION

Epiphany is the second season of the traditional Christian calendar. After the anticipation of Jesus’ arrival during Advent and the celebration of His birth on Christmas Day, the focus shifts to the way Jesus made Himself known here on earth. Throughout the gospel accounts of His ministry, the person of Jesus is revealed more and more.

The word epiphany, from the Greek epiphaneia, means “manifestation” or “appearance.” A verb form of the word translates “to shine upon” or “to give light to.” This season is about the light of Jesus being revealed to the world throughout His earthly ministry. However, Epiphany initially centered on three key events within Jesus’ life when humanity received profound enlightenment as to His identity and mission. The first involves the Magi, or wise men, “from the east,” whose knowledge of prophecy and astronomy led them on an epic journey (Matthew 2:1-12) culminating in a face-to-face encounter with the Son of the Living God. Through the Magi’s invitation to experience the Christmas story, both Jews and non-Jews alike experienced the Light of the World. The second event celebrated during Epiphany is Jesus’ baptism, when Jesus is declared to be the divine Son of God and the one true Messiah. The last event is the miracle of the wedding feast at Cana. This celebration foreshadows the joyous and long-anticipated Wedding Feast of God with His people, initiated through the coming of His Son into the world. These three stories were merged together in the ancient Latin song:

Today the heavenly Bridegroom weds his Church,
Since Christ has washed away her sins in the Jordan;
The wise men hasten with their gifts to the royal wedding,
And the guests are made glad by the water turned to wine.

As John’s Gospel instructs, if you want to see the nature and character of God, look to the Son (John 1:18)!

ENTER THE STORY

We would like to invite you to join us in sharing in this beautiful season of Epiphany by taking a deeper look into the story of Jesus. Our hope is to get a clearer picture of who He is, how He lived among us, and His passion to bring salvation to the world. Even with a twenty-first-century perspective, it is staggering to consider how the impact of Jesus’ life, lived out over 2,000 years ago on the other side of the world, continues to intersect and transform people’s lives! May we see Jesus clearly and know Him personally in our lives today!

HISTORY & TRADITIONS

Epiphany originally served as a celebration of what we now know as Christmas, predating the development of Advent in the sixth century. Epiphany likely originated as a replacement for the pagan winter festival in Egypt as Christianity began to spread in that region. As Rome embraced Christianity as the official state religion under the rule of Constantine in the fourth century, December 25 was decided upon as the accepted traditional date of Jesus’ birth. Following the twelve days of Christmas (December 25-January 6), the Epiphany season began with a feast and celebration. For centuries, January 6 was one of the three most important feast days for Christians all over the world, the other two being Easter and Pentecost. The church would then reflect on and celebrate the life of Jesus, particularly His early ministry, until the season of Lent, beginning 40 days before Easter.

For many, Epiphany highlights that Gentiles—non-Jewish people—have also been brought into the beautiful story of redemption through Israel’s Messiah. This is evident in the use of the crowns and star from the Magi’s story to designate this season in the Christian Calendar.

POSTURES & SYMBOLS

Prayerful Posture: joyful, celebratory, festive, confident

Colors: gold, white, green

Symbols: star, crowns, candles

Flowers and Greenery: white poinsettias, evergreens, philodendron

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