Friday, December 04, 2009

Three Kings Day

The Christmas gift giving season is in full swing! For some of us it begins when we receive our Christmas Savings Club checks, for some of us it begins the day after Thanksgiving with Black Friday sales and for some of us it begins December 1st with the 25 days till Christmas count down. But when exactly should the Christmas season end?

For me it is Three Kings Day. Also known as The Epiphany, Three Kings Day is celebrated on January 6th, twelve days after Christmas. Many people stop celebrating the Christmas season on December 31st as it is New Year's Eve and January 1st is the first day of the New Year. But Christians remember the three miracles that manifest the divinity of Christ.

The name "Epiphany" comes from the Greek word Epiphania, and means "to show, make known, or reveal." There are three events that are central to the definition of Epiphany.
1. The visit of the three kings. The Magi (3 kings) were the first Gentiles to publicly recognize the divinity of Jesus, by way of their offerings. The visit of the three kings reveals Christ as our true and highest "Lord and King."
2. Christ's baptism in the Jordan River. The baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River showed man Christ's divinity as the Son of God. John the Baptist, according to Matthew 3:16-17, testifies of the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus like a dove, and a voice from heaven saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
3. Christ's first miracle at the wedding in Cana where Jesus turned water into wine. Christ made His true glory known so man could believe in him.

Three Kings Day, the Epiphany, is a reminder of God the Father's unlimited love and mercy, which He has extended to all of mankind through the revelation of His Son, who is our hope of salvation when we have faith in Him. It seems fitting that we should honor this day in three meaningful ways. But how?

Christ taught us to give of ourselves. 2 Corinthians 9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Each of the three kings willingly gave one of their valuable possession. Matthew 2:11 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.

Perhaps we can honor Three Kings Day and our Lord by the giving of three modern gifts.

1. Gold - No matter how small the sum, perhaps we can give a gift to a deserving charity.
2. Frankincense - Used in embalming during Jesus' time and today in incense, makes a sweet smelling gift. Perhaps we can give a gift of Frankincense incense and take the time to say the Lord's Prayer with someone in need.
3. Myrrh - Used in perfume since Jesus' time and now in many health and beauty products, perhaps we can give a basket we fill with sweet smelling myrrh products and include a Bible verse in the card to someone who needs some cheering up. John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

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