Sunday, January 6, 2013


Today we celebrate Epiphany, the manifestation of God as a human in Jesus. The holiday is also called Three Kings' Day, highlighting the appearance Jesus Christ to the Gentile Magi and Gentiles more generally. How lovely--and surprising--that the Most High chose to partner with a young woman in bringing that Son into the world, and then to reveal that peasant boy's upside-down kingliness to eastern astrologers who were humble enough, open enough, to travel far and worship that baby. (How often does the Holy One work through the Other, the Foreigner, the Outsider? How ready are we to be surprised?)

In our household, J makes sure the Magi go on a long journey through the season of Advent. Mary and Joseph eventually make it to the manger. Baby Jesus hangs out on a high shelf with the angel until Christmas morning. Those wise men show up at Epiphany, bearing gifts. This year, the camel carried a Quality Street chocolate (I'm not sure if that's gold, frankincense, or myrrh). One of the kings carried another chocolate, and the other king bore a meat stick. Again, I'm not sure how the symbolism breaks down. All I know is that the tableau under the tree is pretty celebratory this afternoon, as it should be. Jesus has been born, widening the scope of God's love beyond anything imaginable, and we have been called from near and also very, very far to welcome him.

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