The Season of Epiphany

Welcome to Epiphany Season also called Ordinary time – the time of year when the life of the church is neither aiming at nor celebrating the events of Christmas or Easter. It is the time during which we are called to follow Jesus, and in following Him, to listen to Him – no bright stars; no earthquakes, – just a voice that strikes our ear amid the ordinariness of our lives and announces that God is among us. We have celebrated the birth of Jesus, the visit of the Wise Men and the Baptism of Jesus by John – his first public appearance as an adult and the beginning of His ministry. In January we will also celebrate John’s Gospel version of the calling of the first disciples (John 1: 29-42) and on the last Sunday, we go to Matthew 4:12-23 to learn about Jesus’ launch of his public ministry.

In western Christian tradition, January 6 is celebrated as Epiphany. It goes by other names in various church traditions. In Hispanic and Latin culture, as well as some places in Europe, it is known as Three Kings’ Day (Span: el Dia de los Tres Reyes, la Fiesta de Reyes, or el Dia de los Reyes Magos; Dutch: Driekoningendag). Because of differences in church calendars, mainly between the Eastern Orthodox and the western Catholic and Protestant traditions, both Christmas and Epiphany have been observed at different times in the past. Today, most of the Eastern Orthodox traditions follow the western church calendar. The exceptions are some Greek Orthodox Churches and related traditions (for example, Russian and Serbian Orthodox) that still follow the older calendar and celebrate Epiphany as the Theophany on January 19th.

Read the full essay, The Season of Epiphany, by Dennis Bratcher