Read­ing Time: 8 minutes


What we celebrate

What exactly are we cel­eb­rat­ing? If epi­phaneia is the mani­fest­a­tion of Jesus to the Gen­tiles, then, what are we cel­eb­rat­ing? Since the Word took flesh and dwelt among us, that is, among man­kind and pre­cisely, among Chris­ti­ans, there is no need cel­eb­rat­ing the mani­fest­a­tion of Jesus to the Gen­tiles because Jesus dwells among Chris­ti­ans. This con­clu­sion takes us to the oth­er mean­ings of epi­phainō and epi­phaneia. If, as regards God’s inter­ven­tion, epi­phainō means giv­ing light and shin­ing upon, then, what we are cel­eb­rat­ing is the divine light shin­ing upon us thanks to the logos pitch­ing his tent among us. Con­sequently, we are now con­scious of the divine appear­ance in the his­tory of man­kind. We can now see things in their essen­tial nature. We now under­stand things bet­ter and are cap­able of grasp­ing the true nature of life because of the divine light shin­ing on us. While the Gen­tiles (rep­res­en­ted by the magoi) cel­eb­rated God’s mani­fest­a­tion to them, we cel­eb­rate the divine light shin­ing upon us. This is where we must lay emphas­is. The accent should not be on the mani­fest­a­tion to the Gen­tiles, but on wheth­er we have under­stood the sig­ni­fic­ance of the divine light that shines on us. The Gen­tiles moved as soon as they per­ceived the divine mani­fest­a­tion. How about Chris­ti­ans? Have we moved since God pitched his tent among us? Has the divine light shin­ing on us had any effect on our lives and on our inter­ac­tions with one anoth­er? How has God appear­ing to us touched and changed our lives, our mod­us operandi, par­landi et vivendi, our rela­tion­ship with oth­ers, our gen­er­al atti­tude to life? What are we cel­eb­rat­ing? What are you cel­eb­rat­ing? What am I celebrating?


As stated above, on receiv­ing the news of the birth of the future king, Herod became highly dis­turbed. Why? The reas­on is obvi­ous. He saw him­self as an abso­lute king who exer­cised abso­lute power. Doing what he liked, when liked it, and how he liked without being ques­tioned by any. How can there be anoth­er king out­side Herod? This was a ser­i­ous threat to him and to his throne. In fact, he ensured the child was elim­in­ated, but as Isai­ah put it God’s ways are dif­fer­ent from human way (cf. Isa 55:8–9). This kind of beha­viour con­tinu­ous even today in vari­ous soci­et­ies. Just look around in the polit­ic­al world and you will mar­vel at what hap­pens. Those in power espe­cially in Africa, do not see it as an oppor­tun­ity to serve the people. Instead, they under­stand it as a golden oppor­tun­ity to loot the wealth of their vari­ous nations.

What about the reli­gious con­text? The story is not dif­fer­ent. And in some sense, the situ­ation is even worse. People doing all sort of evil just to get rid of the pre­sumed oppon­ent. Play­ing dirty and deadly polit­ics in the house of God and in and with the name of God. Some people see them­selves as the only ones fit for every post. They are ready to do any­thing and everything to be in com­mand. Such people have ser­i­ous psy­cho­lo­gic­al defect. Unfor­tu­nately, there are those who sup­port and encour­age such people. As the say­ing goes, birds of the same feath­er, flock togeth­er. But God will con­tin­ue to pro­tect the faith­ful ones in the same way he pro­tec­ted Jesus, by mak­ing sure the three wise men nev­er go back to Herod, who pre­ten­ded to wor­ship the newly born child when in real­ity, he only wanted to kill him.

Once more, wel­come to Two Thou­sand and Eight­een (2018) and enjoy it to the full for God has giv­en it to you. God will pro­tect you from those Herods who might pre­tend to be friends while they are wolves in sheep cloth­ing. And please, nev­er be a Herod to any­one so that God will take care of you. We should always be grate­ful to God and share our bless­ings with oth­ers. As J. Milton puts it, “grat­it­ude bestows rev­er­ence, allow­ing us to encounter every­day epi­phanies, those tran­scend­ent moments of awe that change forever how we exper­i­ence life and the world.” Since ingrat­it­ude is a sin, let us avoid it. Rejoice for God loves you. And may God’s favour mani­fest in you and through you always. Remem­ber, while epi­phaneia is a Chris­ti­an holy day in Janu­ary (tra­di­tion­ally Janu­ary 6 in West­ern Chris­tian­ity) that cel­eb­rates the rev­el­a­tion of the infant Jesus to the Gen­tiles or to the world, on the oth­er hand, it is also a moment in which a per­son sud­denly sees or under­stands some­thing in a new or very clear way. Epi­phaneia is the unfold­ing of God’s plan. May you under­stand this year in the light of the divine shek­i­nah that shines upon you. Let your life be the gold, frankin­cense and myrrh which you offer to God through your broth­ers and sis­ters. I wish you a fruit­ful 2018. Happy New Year and remain blessed forever! Sha­lom!


Email This Post Email This Post

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!