What’s Important about Epiphany?

We are in the season of Epiphany, which begins twelve days after Christmas, celebrating the appearance of Jesus to the Gentiles as indicated by the visit of the Wise Men from the East to the holy family in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1-12). The word “epiphany” means, “to appear”.

On the first Sunday in Epiphany, we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus, when He was baptized by John and began His three and a half years of public ministry. The last Sunday of Epiphany is just before Ash Wednesday and celebrates the Transfiguration of Jesus, when Jesus’ divine nature was revealed and Moses and Elijah appeared with Him.

The season of Epiphany spans the time between the season of Christmas and Lent. Why? As Jesus confirmed His identity to His disciples in the transfiguration just before going to Jerusalem to be arrested, condemned and crucified, so the Church has historically used the time between Christmas and Lent to ponder the truth that God made apparent to us in the life of His Son. During Epiphany we contemplate and celebrate what God has made apparent through His Word and the incarnation of His Word in Jesus Christ who ever lives as our Redeemer.

Want to hear more about the season?  On the Word Without Walls podcast, two episodes (here and here) look at the visit of the Wise Men, and this episode considers the baptism of Jesus.

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