My favorite holiday has always been Christmas. I love going home to the farm and spending time with my family, the food, the presents, the carols, and the food - wait, I said that one already. I love the celebration and excitement that surrounds the Birth of Christ. The long awaited Messiah came to the earth He created in order save sinners like me.
This is probably one of the first stories I ever heard about salvation when I was a kid, and it gives me a sense of renewal each year in my walk. Usually, the excitement starts about Thanksgiving time when we start the eating:), the decorating, it starts to get chilly outside, and people who we have not seen in a while start coming into town. We also start the Advent season in the church calendar year, which sets the stage for the excitement for the coming of the Messiah. Then as the days get closer, the Advent calendar doors get opened, or the little paper rings get cut; the excitement builds to the grand finale. Christmas Morning!!!
My family gets super excited on Christmas Morning. On this day, at least at my house, we all turn into kids again. We get up early, rush through breakfast, and drag my Dad out of bed (even though we know he is the most excited and is only pretending to go slow). We sit around the tree, read the Christmas Story, and pray. Then the presents begin. After the presents comes the food, and after the food comes the coma, and after the coma we all go to our separate houses, and in the days to follow, start to take down the decorations. We all have to go back to work and start working off that turkey and ham and stuffing and mashed potatoes and cookies and pie and.... If you are like me, Christmas seems to go by so fast and I am always left wanting it to last just a little bit longer. Guess what, it does!
Something we often times miss out on as Protestants is the celebration that comes 12 days after Christmas Day. Epiphany. January 6th we celebrate the manifestation of God in the form of a human, His son Jesus. This is commonly linked to the visitation of the Magi to the Christ Child and through the Magi, Christ revealed Himself to the gentiles. Epiphany is celebrated many different ways in different cultures. Some throw a big party that lasts all week, some have a feast, and some even get a piñata! I can't wait to start this tradition in my family to join in with so many Christians around the world in a bonus day of Celebrating the coming of the Messiah.
Join us this Sunday Morning as we learn more about Epiphany!