Saturday, January 06, 2007

Epiphany

Hey! It's Epiphany! By which I mean 6 January, the day of the Feast (or whatever) of Epiphany in the liturgical calendar. It's one of my favourite festivals that Baptists don't know about. (I can say this, being, more or less, a Baptist.) My own epiphany for the day was that it is Epiphany. I almost forgot about it--kind of like all the holidays recently.

Anyway, this is my favourite minor-ish festival I think because it celebrates the fact that Gentiles, as well as Jews, are allowed into the Kingdom of God because of Jesus. It's a good reminder to myself not to take that for granted. I think sometimes, in spite of my best efforts at not being racist, sectarian, etc., I semiconsciously imagine that American (Northern or Southern Hemisphere doesn't matter--I'm that open-minded) Evangelicals are the Chosen People. Epiphany reminds me that I didn't do anything (not even be born into a particular race) to get me in--it was an act of God, an act of His grace. Furthermore, it reminds me of the wise men.

The story of the magi is the quintessential clue at the birth of Jesus that He came for everybody and not just the particular ethnic group into which He was born. But there's also this side-detail, which is that not only were they Gentiles, but it's highly likely they hailed either from Iran or Iraq.

I don't really want to get all political here, but I do want to say that I think it's pretty easy for American-Evangelicals-who-feel-like-the-Chosen-People to forget that non-Jewish people from the Middle East, including from countries we have a little trouble trusting, can be chosen, too. This festival reminds me of my Persian and Iraqi friends in London with whom I've lost touch, but who had visions and dreams--epiphanies--of Jesus. It reminds me to keep praying that they find the stable--and the Cross.

1 comment:

revjas said...

Fantastic!! After reading this Epiphany (which is a bit more noticeable in Ireland) is my favourite "minor" holy day too! Christianity Today might be interested in publishing this -- next January!

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