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The Season of Epiphany

The Day of Epiphany

The word Epiphany means “manifestation” or “appearance.”  It is God’s breaking into the human sphere. In the Protestant church, The Day of Epiphany refers to the arrival of the Magi in Bethlehem to see the Christ-Child and it is celebrated on January 6—the twelfth day of Christmas.    

The Scriptural Focus

Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus is completely different from Luke.  Matthew begins by placing the birth of Jesus within the ongoing story of God through a genealogy that establishes this connection all the way back to the patriarch—Abraham.  Only after the genealogy, does Matthew reveal the geographical and temporal setting Jesus’ birth. 

Herod’s troubled response to hearing that the Magi sought a newborn king reflects a much deeper theological concern—the clashing of two potentials kingdoms:  the kingdom of God and the kingdom of humanity.  The Magi seek the “king of the Jews” and the soldiers at the crucifixion mock Jesus by jeering “Hail!  King of the Jews! (Matt 27:29). 

The Star

If the wreath is the primary symbol of Advent and the manger the primary symbol of Christmas, the “Star in the East” is the central symbol for Epiphany.  The star that led the Magi to Christ is our guide throughout the Season of Epiphany.  Jesus—rather than the Magi—is the central focus of this season.  From Epiphany Sunday until Ash Wednesday, our worship revolves around the early ministry of Jesus, including:

  • The baptism of Jesus
  • The call of the first disciples
  • The temptation of Jesus in the wilderness
  • The teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount

Church Year Colors

Green—life.  Green appears during Epiphany and Pentecost seasons.  Think fresh sprouts and green leaves—green is the season for spiritual growth.

White—purity and holiness.  White appears on Christmas and its season, Easter and its season and on Epiphany Day and All Saints Day.

Purple—royalty and repentance.  Purple appears through Advent and Lent.  Think kingly robes!

Red—fire and the Holy Spirit. Red appears on Pentecost.

Black—death and mourning.  Used only on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Last Published: January 4, 2018 9:07 AM

Milledge Avenue Baptist Church
1690 South Milledge Avenue
Athens, GA 30605

ph: 706-354-0090
fax: 706-354-0344

Carrie Juarez Hayes, Office Manager?

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