While many people are taking down the tree the day after Christmas…we continue to celebrate. You see, Christmas Day is actually the first day of the 12 days of Christmas. (I bet you thought the 12 days of Christmas were before Christmas) The last day of Christmas is actually on January 6 which is called the Epiphany.
Epiphany is the celebration of when the wisemen came to see Jesus and bring Him gifts. Did you know that the wisemen did not visit the baby in the manger but rather a small child, under the age of two in his home? (and actually no where does it say there were three wisemen…just three gifts)
I grew up celebrating the Epiphany and Dan and I have celebrated it throughout our married life. It is always something to look forward to after the excitement of Christmas and it is another opportunity for us to pass on a firm foundation of faith to our children through a fun celebration. (And it is clear from the Old Testament that God loves a feast, party, celebration – especially those that are a remembrance of great things He has done!)
We always serve Shrimp Curry over rice for dinner – as the wisemen came from the East and this is an East Indian meal. It is unusual but delicious! The spicy taste of the curry sauce combined with a multitude of condiments is tasty! We have had many people over throughout the years to celebrate the Epiphany and although it looks and sounds strange to them – most leav loving this dish. (In fact my niece Janessa recently told me it was her all time favorite meal!) Because we only serve this once a year – it becomes very special and desired!
We decorate the table with the wisemen and with symbols of the three gifts – gold, frankincense and myrrh. This year we had new wisemen on our table that Michelle had brought over from Barcelona, Spain – where the Epiphany is actually their gift giving time instead of Christmas.
Of course since it is the 12th day of Christmas we use all the Christmas china for one final time before it goes back into storage for another year. And we almost always share our celebration with friends or family members. This year, the Meiers – Dan’s sisters family joined us for the Epiphany!
After dinner we have an Epiphany service. It is always a great time of discussion and growth. Here is the outline for our service that we wrote over a decade ago –
What is Epiphany?
Read Matthew 2:1-12
Explanation of the gifts
Sing – “We three Kings”
We three Kings of Orient are, Bearing gifts we traverse afar Field & Fountain, Moor and Mountain, Following Yonder Star
REFRAIN – O Star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright, Westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to Thy perfect light
Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain, Gold I bring to crown Him again, King forever, ceasing never Over us all to reign. REFRAIN
Frankincense to offer have I, Incense owns a Deity nigh; Prayer & praising all men raising, Worship Him, God on high REFRAIN Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume, Breathes a life of gathering gloom; sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, Sealed in the stone cold tomb. REFRAIN Glorious now behold Him arise, King & God & Sacrifice; Alleluia, Alleluia! Sounds through the earth and skies. REFRAIN
Questions & Thoughts
How can we follow the “light of Jesus” (like the wiseman followed the star) everyday in our lives?
What kind of gifts can we give to Jesus?
Think about these things :
Is Jesus a true King in your hearts? (do you revere Him, honor Him & desire to know Him and be known by Him?)
Do you worship Jesus as your God everyday? ( through prayer & praise, obedience & service?)
Is Jesus your Savior? Have you asked Him into your heart? Who in your life needs to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ?
- Worship Songs –
Come let us worship & bow down
Let us kneel before the Lord, our God, our maker. For He is our God & we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand and the sheep of His hand.
O Lord Here am I,
O Lord Here am I, yes here am I
And I offer my body as a living sacrifice, Holy & acceptable to you.
O come let us adore You
We give you all the glory
For You alone are worthy
After our service we close the evening with the “King’s Cake” – a yummy cake with an almond hidden inside of it. The tradition is that whomever gets the almond must host the party the next year! Michelle made us the most yummy from scratch chocolate cake with mocha icing – apparently she was the birthday cake maker at he YWAM DTS in Australia so she leaned how to make cakes from scratch. Oh my! Was it ever melt in you mouth deeeeeeeeeelicious!
Kristen got the almond! Some day in the future I see this as a very fun thing for all the kids and their families to do together – switching homes from year to year with whoever gets the almond! (yes…I am dreaming that most will live close to each other & to us!)
I encourage you all to consider starting an Epiphany tradition of your own!