The story of Christ’s birth often feels as if it all happens in a few short hours. Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem and Jesus is born. Shepherds and kings arrive shortly after to worship the newborn King. By December 26 all is finished and on to the New Year’s celebration we go.
A song begins, “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…” I wonder about the twelve days. Are these the final days leading up to Jesus’ birth? Or after? A little research brings new understanding. The twelve days begin Christmas Day and continue through Epiphany, January 6.
I wouldn’t change a thing about how we tell the story. Each year as I set up the Nativity, I put the Magi in their place. But this year I want to linger on this twelve days of Christmas idea. These were traveling days for the Magi. Twelve days of following the star’s sign to the place of epiphany.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to JerusalemMatthew 2;1
One of the definitions of epiphany reads,
an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosureMerriam Webster
There’s something about the definition that draws me. What illuminating discovery did the Magi experience on the road to Jesus? Or was there a road at all? What realizations came as they made their way to Bethlehem? Were they expecting some great epiphany at the end of the journey or did they experience a few along the way? The scriptures don’t reveal much about this time. And so I’ll use my imagination and invite you to do the same.
Let’s travel together and consider what the Road to Epiphany might reveal to us and in us.
On this second day of the twelve, let’s take the first step together. Let’s step out on the Road to Epiphany and see what’s to be discovered along the way. Are you ready?
Here we go!