Since yesterday was the 12th day of Christmas, and today is known as Epiphany, I thought I’d use this occasion to discuss the holiday as well as the evolution of epiphany over time.
How often have you thought you had an epiphany? Was it a great idea? Was it the crystallization of a concept you hadn’t quite understood before? Whatever it was, something was unveiled that you hadn’t seen before. And that, my friends is exactly what happened on the first Epiphany, also known as Three Kings Day, which is commemorated as the first time that Jesus the Messiah was revealed to gentiles.
When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. Matthew 2:9-12.
As Protestants, our family rarely gave deep consideration to the Feast of Epiphany. However our school, being a Christian classical school, educates its students on the significant events on the liturgical calendar.
If this is a new revelation to you, consider yourselves so educated.
As a result of the original unveiling, we have all come to use the word epiphany as Webster defines it:
1) : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something
2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (such as an event) usually simple and striking
3) : an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure b : a revealing scene or moment
So there you have it, both the holiday and the vocabulary of the word Epiphany!