“We three kings of Orient are . . .”
If you know the song, you know the story.
At some distance after Jesus was born, “wise men” (kings, sages, astrologers, magi) from “the East” came to visit Jesus, bringing him rare and expensive gifts that both recognize his royalty/divinity and prefigure his death. It is the very definition of an iconic story and, for much of Christian history, it has been more important and more broadly celebrated than even Christmas.
Yet, anymore, it slips by almost completely forgotten. For those outside of the liturgical tradition, the three wise many have been subsumed into the overall story of Christmas, like the kingly figures in so many manger scenes. And, for those of us in more liturgical traditions, Epiphany proper is is either passed over for a more robust celebration of Jesus’ baptism on the Sunday afterward, or it is doomed to be celebrated by the very few who come to church on the Sunday after Christmas.
Frankly, I’m thankful that we still have the song any ways, it is the most enduring part of the Epiphany tradition.
“Oooooooooh … oooooooh”
In Epiphany, I think we have a neat opportunity to reclaim a tradition from the history of the church into our homes and families. With its rich history of processions and house-blessings and king-cakes and gift giving, Epiphany seems ready made for the Christian Home and family.
So, if you’re searching for a way to brighten the winter doldrums between Christmas and Spring Break. Might I suggest celebrating Epiphany