Jean’s Gospel: Epiphany: Christmas of the Gentiles

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8 Responses

  1. Xenia says:

    This is interesting for me because I associate Epiphany, which is also called Theophany, with the baptism of Christ is the Jordan.

    The “showing forth,” in this case, is the revelation of the Holy Trinity. The hymn for Theophany:

    “When Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan, worship of the Trinity wast made manifest; for the voice of the Father bore witness to Thee, calling Thee His beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of His word. O Christ our God, Who hath appeared and enlightened the world, glory to Thee.”

    So that’s where “manifest” fits in.

    I know the Hispanic folk in our neighborhood celebrate Epiphany/ Theophany by baking Three Kings Bread (Pan de los Reyes/ Rosca) which has a little plastic baby Jesus baked inside… that’s a little weird, I think. For years we had plastic baby Jesuses in our junk drawer…. not cool.

    Anyway, whether one celebrates the arrival of the Magi or the Baptism of the Lord, it’s a great day and marks the end of the Christmas season.

    Theophany in Russia:

  2. Jean says:


    Thanks for adding the EO perspective. I noticed during my research for the article that West and East celebrate the manifestation from different events.

  3. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think that Epiphany must be looked at as a season vs a day – a time of the year the scriptures are read that show Christ being revealed as Messiah.
    Off the top of my head I think there is Epiphany and then the time after Epiphany – a 4 weekperiod – and this includes the Baptism of Jesus and I know there is a reading in Luke 4 one week where Jesus being in the synagogue has the Isaiah scroll passed to him, he reads it and says something like, “this has now been fulfilled” – because surprise!! it’s me (MLD translation.)

    Anyway, these weeks of Epiphany then lead up to Mardi Gras 🙂 Ash Wednesday and Lent.

  4. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    When I taught the passage of the Magi coming to town, I likened it to a motorcycle gang roaring through town. The common picture is 3 guys on camels just strolling across the desert on a bee line from wherever they are coming from to Jerusalem.

    But I picture at least 50 of them galloping across the desert, coming to towns and shouting out “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’ “

  5. Victor says:

    I recently celebrated 3 Kings Day with my ex-laws. We walked the procession up and down the block, but cut it really short due to colder than average weather. Everyone got candles. The kids got sparklers if they wanted. I wasn’t there when they cut the pan (bread). Traditionally, whoever cuts the piece which had the figure, that person has to throw a party for the rest of the family. I always dreaded those years when I had to cut my piece… (not a fan of parties).

  6. Linnea says:

    Thank you, Jean, for this explanation of epiphany. I’ve not understood the significance of this event to the gentiles, and you have put it in perspective for me.

  7. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean, this is beautifully done. Thank you.

  8. Jean says:

    You’re very welcome Linnea and Duane.

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