Isaiah 60:1-6; -Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14;
Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12
Epiphany, which is also known as Theophany or Three Kings’ Day, is an occasion where Christians celebrate the revelation/manifestation (epiphany) of Christ.
It particularly commemorates the occasion of the Magi visiting Christ as a child; this represents the physical manifestation of Jesus to the Gentiles.
The traditional date for these celebrations is 6 January. For many, it marks the end of a 12-day festival – known as the Twelve Days of Christmas (like the song!) or Christmastide – which begins on Christmas Day.
Welcome to the New Year!
The New Year can often bring a mixed bag of emotions and memories for many of us. Some may have just experienced the best year ever and look forward to an even greater one ahead. Others may have just trudged through one deep struggle after another. The fresh calendar year brings desperate hope for things to be better, with an ache for the still-fresh wounds to slowly begin their process of healing.
Whether you’ve just walked through the greatest year of your life, or are incredibly glad to see this one finally over, one truth still rings clear amidst it all. You are not alone. Not ever.
Our God is a “with us" God. On the heels of the celebration of the birth of our King, that reminder has the power to carry us right into a fresh, new start. He is Emmanuel, God with us. And though things and people around us shift and change, our God never changes.
A Prayer to Keep God First this New Year:
Thank you that you make all things new. Thank you for all that you've allowed into our lives this past year, the good along with the hard things, which have reminded us how much we need you and rely on your presence filling us every single day.
We pray for your Spirit to lead us each step of this New Year. We ask that you will guide our decisions and turn our hearts to deeply desire you above all else. We ask that you will open doors needing to be opened and close the ones needing to be shut tight. We ask that you would help us release our grip on the things to which you’ve said “no,” “not yet,” or “wait.” We ask for help to pursue you first, above every dream and desire you’ve put within our hearts.