In our culture, we start the buildup of Christmas already in October or maybe even September. It begins with a few Christmas trees up for sale and by the time December 24 gets here, everything is all about Christmas... and then it gets quickly pushed aside for New Year celebrations! The stores on December 26 slash the prices on anything to do with Christmas items and Valentine's day stuff takes its place. The message is clear: Christmas is over and it’s time to move on to the next big thing!
The problem is that we are so busy with all the hype and hoopla of Christmas leading up to it that we have very little time to let the message of Christmas settle in and resonate in our hearts and minds. We celebrate it frenetically and then forget it just as easily and slog back into the real world, many woefully thinking that there won’t be any days off now until Memorial Day! We need to let Christmas steep in our minds for those few days. In the quiet time after Christmas and New Year, we have a few days as we resume our jobs and get back to normal, we have the tree and decorations up to remind us that it was Christmas and we are now living in the time of Jesus. In fact, the birth of Jesus changes everything, including the way we live our lives and do our work. Christmas lasts and so the trees and decorations can be used as subtle reminders that because of Jesus’ birth, everything has completely changed.
As I mentioned above, the season of Epiphany focuses on the visit of the Magi, the Three Wise Men, to the Christ-child. Their visit reminds us that the birth of Jesus was not just for a small population of beleaguered people. The birth of Jesus was for the world and all rulers and people will bow down to him and acknowledge him as King and the Light of the world.
That too needs to carry over into the very fabric of our lives in this year. Jesus, as the Light of the world, is Lord and King over all we do. Jesus is Lord and King over all other religions and movements. Jesus is Lord and King over all things and someday every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. That’s a pretty good reason to remember January 6 and the season of Epiphany.