January 6: Epiphany

January 6th is Epiphany (or Theophany), the manifestation of God. In the western church, this day celebrates the arrival of the Magi, giving gifts to the child Jesus. A tradition in Germany and parts of Switzerland involves small groups of children, called “star singers” or Sternsinger, travel from house tohouse with a wooden star, singing songs and  treats for themselves or charitable donations for certain causes.

When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. Ocoming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

Matthew 2:10 & 11

In the eastern church, January 6 is celebrated as the day of Jesus’ baptism.

Personal photo of the Jordan River, taken fall 2006.

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

Mark 1:9-11

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