Theophany

 

We are in the first week of Epiphany. Epiphany means “showing forth” or “manifestation.”   For us in the west, Epiphany relates to the coming of the Magi.  Jesus is manifested by the star which led the Magi to the house in which the family lived in Bethlehem.

In the Eastern Church, the Orthodox Church, January 6 &7 commemorates the baptism of Jesus by John in the Jordan River.  It’s the festival of the public manifestation of Jesus, the Word made flesh.  It is also the occasion of the Theophany (manifestation of God) as the Holy Family, the Trinity, shows itself as the Son who is baptized, the Holy Spirit coming upon him in the likeness of a dove and the Father, speaking from heaven, declaring Jesus to be the beloved son of the Father with whom he continues to be pleased.

In the Orthodox Church, Epiphany is more important than Christmas.  Epiphany stands with Easter and Pentecost as the chief festivals in the church year.

LSB Hymn 394 St. 2 (310 in ELW)

Manifest at Jordan’s stream,

Prophet, Priest, and King supreme;

And at Cana wedding guest

In Thy Godhead manifest;

Manifest in pow’r divine,

Changing water into wine;

Anthems be to Thee addressed,

God in man made manifest.

LSB 405 St. 2

The Savior came to be baptized-

The Son of God in flesh disguised-

To stand beneath the Father’s will

And all His righteousness fulfill.

 

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