After the tree has gone dry, after the echoes of Christmas carols have danced their way out of our heads and the gifts and wrapping paper have been put away for another year, the Feast of the Epiphany comes to us Americans as an afterthought. But it is in the quiet of the undecorated room, resting from the hustle and bustle of the weeks before, that the Revelation of the Lord comes to us in its simplicity.
The world is turned upside down as kings bow before a poor child in a stable, foreshadowing the teacher who will triumph by dying on a cross. All of this occurs in the deceptively calm night, with the Holy Ones unaware of Herod’s malevolent plan to destroy the Love that God has sent into the world. This magical story, although complete with Kings and moving stars, really hides a beautiful simplicity. Our God comes to save us, quietly, unassumingly, raising up the lowliest to the status of children of God.
From the first Epiphany, the making known of the presence of the Lord on earth, we learn our task each day. As the prophet Isaiah says of Jerusalem, we are also to “rise up in splendor” in the knowledge of our salvation. As God has shared His Son, so we must share ourselves with each other.