On The Second Day of Christmas
According to Christian Church Tradition dating back to the 4th Century AD, Epiphany has been celebrated on the 12th day after Christmas (beginning with Christmas Eve) and is the inspiration for the popular Christmas Carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas. The word Epiphany means manifestation and represents the time when the Wise Men came from the East to bring gifts to the Holy Child of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. They were identified as Melchoir, Casper and Balthazar, representing the regions of Europe, Asia and Africa.
On the eighth day after Jesus’ birth He was circumcised according to the Law. It was on that day that He was brought to the Temple by His mother and Joseph and was met by Simeon and Anna who prophesied over Him declaring that He was the manifestation of the promised Messiah. The Kings (Wise Men) from the East, arrived on the 12th day, and saw Him and bore witness of the manifestation of what had been revealed to them in the Stars that a King would be born who would bring Peace to all the Earth.
Epiphany marks the end of Christmastide and the beginning of the countdown to the beginning of Lent. Though we generally only celebrate one day as Christmas the season or celebration is actually a 12-day event culminating with the visitation of the Wise Men to see the Holy Child.
While there are no specific Biblical mandates or spiritual exercises that the Church is called to observe during these days they do provide an opportunity to extend the spirit of the Holy days with works and acts of kindness and ministry to others and particularly to the poor, the lonely, the forgotten, the outcasts and the weary. It is a good time to deepen our relationship with Jesus by deliberately setting aside times daily to commune with Him, to read and meditate His Word and to fellowship with other believers where the Word and witness of Jesus is the center of our conversation.
Over the next 10 days as we look toward Epiphany let’s consider ways we can make each day a day of blessing to others and a day of receiving what the Holy Spirit would minister to us as we make ourselves available to Him.
Today, let’s read Luke 4:18-19 and meditate on the things that Jesus considered His most important works of ministry as the Son of God, as the Lamb of God and as the Servant of all.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19
This is why He came. This is what we are called to declare and to do as His ambassadors, as priest and kings unto our God, by faith in His name.
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps…” 1 Peter 2:21
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” 2 Timothy 2:24-26
“And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 1:6
Consider and do one thing today that fulfills His calling on your life.
do some act of kindness for the poor
speak a word of encouragement and comfort to someone
show God’s love by extending forgiveness to someone
bear/relieve someone’s burdens – give a helping hand
spend time with someone who is alone – by phone or in person
create a unique gift to lift someone’s spirit in an unexpected way
think of other ways you can be a blessing and as you listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit be ready and quick do it