Twelfth Night

wise-menNow when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2

Good evening, Dear Readers,

I wanted to write you a quick message about today, January 5th. In England it is called “Twelfth Night” because it is the 12th night after the Lord Jesus was born on Christmas Eve. Traditionally, it is the day we take our Christmas tree down, and it is bad luck to take it down before (confession: mine is already down!). In other countries, January 6th is celebrated as Epiphany, or Three Kings’ Day – celebrating the day that the three “kings” (actually Magi or wise men) came and visited Jesus as a young child. Especially in Hispanic countries, it is a big celebration. According to Wikipedia:

In Christianity, the Epiphany refers to a realization that Christ is the Son of God. Western churches generally celebrate the Visit of the Magi as the revelation of the Incarnation of the infant Christ, and commemorate the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6.

I remember as a child, the adults talking about Twelfth night, and Epiphany as a religious holiday of some sort, but mostly it was the day we took our Christmas tree down.

When I was reading through the Christmas story this year, I was struck by the following verses about the Magi:

“When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw 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 exceeding great joy” Matthew 2:9-11

These men followed a star from far away in the East, knowing that it would lead them to a great King. They asked Herod, King of the Jews at that time in Jerusalem where this new King of the Jews would be born, and he in turn asked his chief priests and scribes, and they told him what scriptures said – in Bethlehem of Judaea. Now Herod was a proud evil king, and did not want to share his glory with anyone, so he had all the baby boys under the age of 2 killed in order to prevent this new King from taking over his position of power. What he didn’t realize is that he cannot thwart God’s perfect plan. He chose to reject Jesus and tried to destroy Him!! The Magi, on the other hand, hurried to follow the star to Bethlehem, and when they saw Jesus “they rejoiced with exceeding great joy” – they were overjoyed at seeing the new King!! Can you imagine a King so great that a special star was created by God just for Him, and that it led these wise men to the place where He was? No wonder they were so excited!! They chose to accept Jesus – they were struck by the Epiphany (definition: “manifestation or striking appearance”) of Emmanuel – God in the flesh! They loved Him and worshiped Him, and gave Him their treasures—gold, frankincense, and myrrh – gifts fitting for a King.

So, who are you like? Herod who rejected and destroyed? Or the Magi, who loved and worshiped?

The choice is still ours today.

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

Wise men still seek Him

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