Yesterday was Epiphany - and if someone hadn't told me, I wouldn't have known it.
- Epiphany is the climax of the Advent/Christmas Season and the Twelve Days of Christmas, which are usually counted from the evening of December 25th until the morning of January 6th, which is the Twelfth Day.
- The term epiphany means "to show" or "to make known" or even "to reveal." In Western churches, it remembers the coming of the wise men bringing gifts to visit the Christ child, who by so doing "reveal" Jesus to the world as Lord and King. (My note: Can you think of any better reason to celebrate?! :)
- Around January 6, the symbol +C+B+M+ with two numbers before and two numbers after (for example, 20+C+B+M+12) is sometimes seen written in chalk above the doorway of Christian homes. The letters are the initials of the traditional names of the Three Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. These letters also abbreviate the Latin phrase Christus mansionem benedicat, "May Christ bless the house." The beginning and ending numbers are the year, 2012 in the example above. The crosses represent Christ. (My note: Seems to me they could represent the Trinity too.)
I've never regularly attended a church that observed occasions such as Lent and Epiphany. Christmas and Easter we celebrate - but that's about it. Yet I can't help but consider that in their purest form many, if not all, of the seemingly endless observances on the Christian calendar were likely initially intended to encourage Christians to keep their focus on Christ - on His goodness and faithfulness - amidst the continual change propelled by incessant immorality destined to unfold as countless rotations of the earth would relentlessly roll into revolutions around the sun. And - well...I can just appreciate the constant comfort that commemorating Christ would likely convey if I were to be a bit more consistent in that regard.