"Epiphany" is a word of Greek origin related to the English word “manifestation.”  It means an appearance, a making clear or public or obvious.  On this day, Christians have traditionally celebrated the making known of Jesus Christ to the world.

Several events have been thought of as special instances of the making known of Jesus, such as: the coming of the Magi; His presentation in the temple; His baptism; and his first miracle at Cana.  Current majority usage, at least in the West, celebrates his birth on December 25th, the coming of the Magi on January 6th, and his baptism on the next Sunday.  On the following Sundays up to the beginning of Lent, we remember the Lord's public preaching of the kingdom, particularly the earlier stages of that preaching before strong opposition had begun.  On the last Sunday after Epiphany (the Sunday before Lent), we commemorate the Transfiguration, the climax of this first phase of our Lord's public ministry.


About the Art:

"Epiphany" by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1774

Jean-Baptiste Greuze was one of the Europe's first celebrity painters.  He built a reputation on instructive paintings that covered the edifying themes of the education of children, the virtues of a simple, provincial family life, and the heroism of everyday activities.

"Epiphany" depicts a peasant family participating in the annual celebration of the festival on January 6th.  During this festival children would search for a bean hidden in the king's cake, the finder of which would be "king for the day."  Just as the philosophers Denis Diderot and Jean-Jacques Rousseau were asking the country's bourgeoisie to rid themselves of the distractions and trappings of civilization - to return to nature and a moral, family life - Greuze's "Epiphany" makes clear the simple (if completely illusory) pleasures of the honest, peasant family, uncorrupted by the temptations of modern, bourgeois life.


About the Music:

"Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)" by Casting Crowns

Based on the hymn "One Day," this reinvention gives new life to, in my opinion, one of the greatest story hymns of the twentieth century.  The hymn takes us on a journey from Christ's incarnation to his return to reign.

Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me) lyrics:

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He
Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He's coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He's ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing
My Savior, Jesus, is mine

Oh, glorious day