Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Feast of the Epiphany

I had to work today, oh well...

The following is from my church's newsletter this week:

Our celebration of the Incarnation comes to an end this Sunday
as we celebrate The Epiphany or Manifestation of Christ to the
Gentiles. With the arrival of the Wise Men, we see the Truth of
the Gospel proclaimed loudly, as prophesied of old, that the Lord
would manifest His glory to all nations. The claims of the Gospel
are now for all people, of all times, in all places. At The Epiphany
we are reminded again of the importance of mission and
evangelism.

"This festival is one of peculiar interest to those who realize the
great power of God, by which we Gentiles have received the
Gospel. On this day came the first-fruits of the Gentiles, to pay
homage to the new-born King of Nations; thus rendering an early
representative acknowledgment of His lawful right in behalf of the
Gentile world. ... [On this day] we should keep the feast with a
willing and holy worship, presenting ourselves before God as
living witnesses that "those who sat in darkness have seen a
great light."

Of the gifts brought by the Wise Men, St. Hilary comments that
the "gifts were symbolical -- GOLD of tribute to a king; INCENSE
of adoration to God; MYRRH of recognition of a mortal and a man
of sorrows."

(--from THOUGHTS ON THE SERVICES by The Rt.
Rev. A, Cleveland Coxe, 1860.)