Epiphanyis derived from “Koine,” a greek word meaning “striking appearance,” “vision of God, or “manifestation. Ep[iphany falls on January 6, and is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. Western Christians commemorate principally the visitation of the Biblical Magi to the Baby Jesus, and thus Jesus’ physical manifestation to the Gentiles.
Epiphany is celebrated in many different ways, even here in the United States. In the United States, in Colorado around Manitou Springs, Epiphany is marked by the Great Fruitcake Toss. Fruitcakes are thrown, participants dress as kings, fools, and other characters, and competitions are held for the farthest throw, the most creative projectile device, etc. As with customs in other countries, the fruitcake toss is a sort of festive symbolic leave-taking of the Christmas holidays until next year, but with humorous twist, since fruitcake is too often considered in the United States with a certain degree of derision, and is the source of many jokes.
In Louisiana, Epiphany is the beginning of the Carnival season, during which it is customary to bake King Cakes, similar to the Rosca mentioned above. It is round in shape, filled with cinnamon, glazed white, and coated in traditional carnival color sanding sugar. The person who finds the doll must provide the next king cake. The interval between Epiphany and Mardi Gras is sometimes known as “king cake season”, and many may be consumed during this period. The Carnival season begins on King’s Day (Epiphany, January 6), and there are many traditions associated with that day in Louisiana and along the Catholic coasts of Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. King cakes are first sold then, Carnival krewes begin having their balls on that date, and the first New Orleans krewe parades in street cars that night.
In Colonial Virginia Epiphany, or 12th Night, was an occasion of great merriment, and was considered especially appropriate as a date for balls and dancing, as well as for wedding. On 12th Night, great cake was prepared, consisting in two giant layers of fruitcake, coated and filled with royal icing. Custom dictated that the youngest child present cut and serve the cake and whoever found the bean or prize in the Twelfth Night cake was crowned “King of the Bean” similar to the European king cake custom. (Wikipedia)
Many of us think of Epiphany in a very personal way, as a manifestation or culmination that has life-changing consequences. It is often an opportunity to understand more fully, see more clearly, make decisions with conviction, or alter the course of our life. A personal Epiphany is not necessarily experienced by everyone, and those who are blessed to have experienced one, have taken part in an extraordinary occurrence.
Some have, in a moment of Epiphany, found or reclaimed their relationship with God and with Jesus Christ; others have seen that their life has been following a negative series of events and have found the clarity and conviction to make significant changes; others have set new goals, deepened their spirituality, and understood more fully exactly who they are and what their place is in the world.
With the New Year just begun, let us consider this time of manifestation and culmination. It is the manifestation of God incarnate, of light and love, of goodness and mercy, and of hope for salvation. If is the culmination of the Christmas story – the gifts have finally all been exchanges, the celebrations have come to an end, and many have taken down festive decorations.
As we clear out hearts of decorations and gift wrapping, let us be open to a personal Epiphany in 2012. It may happen; it may not. For those of us who are blessed to experience a vision of God , a dramatic change in the course of our lives, or a manifestation, let us rejoice and, with the grace of God and the promise of our Lord Jesus Christ, make 2012 a truly new year
Columbia Prayer Chain
Sunday, January 1
In our prayers: Meredith, Geoffrey, Gertrude, Lindsey and Michael, Betty Jo, Joye Cantrell, Betty and Jerry, Patty and Ted, Debbie and Pat, Robin, Melinda, Fred and Gail, Karen Amanda, Marty Fritz, Karen and Richard, Jennifer and Roger, Monica, Sharon, Kathryn, Delores G., Mary, Lynn, Linda L., Mary M., Melinda, Jeannie, Dale and Norma Sessions, Padge Arrington, Donna Hotaling, Jerry Callahan, Russ Meyne, April Goodwin, Laura Bushnell, Loretta M, Kody Oswald, Edgar Maxwell, Laura Lou Rummans, Elizabeth Adams, Gene Awtrey, John Conde, Millie Husbands, Clyde Ireland, Sam King, Bob Whiteside, Chuck Witten, Lindsay Cathcart, Raven Tarpley, Elizabeth, William Alex McDaniels, Maddie Rosenthal, DuBose Tuller, Lynn, Frances, Nancy and Ann, Chris Johansson, John W.
In memoriam: Lorine E. Robinson, Jonathan Lee Humphrey II, Jean McCrosky, Leon F. Johnson, Davina Vicini, Esteella Lorene Page, Mary Brooks Areheart, Alonzo Charles Merkerson, Betty Connell, Alice Dillard Griffin
Our prayers are with: The lonely, the elderly, the homeless, the unemployed, all victims of abuse, all currently fighting illness, all beloved pets, our president and congress and all who serve in the armed forces
Columbia Prayer Chain is open to all residents of greater Columbia who would like to share prayers and receive the prayers of others. Please leave your name in the comment box below or email me to join our Prayer Chain. It is updated daily as prayers are requested.
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