At about that time some astrologers from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in far-off eastern lands and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2
Epiphany as a Christian feast finds its earliest reference in AD 361 by Ammianus Marcellinus. This day, marking the end of Christmastide, celebrates the announcement to the entire world of the arrival of the Christ – the union of human and divine – in the child named Jesus.
The child Jesus was brought into existence to proclaim first to the Jewish shepherds and secondly to all non-Jews the birth of a new order in the world where man and God are united. This baby Jesus was proclaimed to all mankind, regardless of race and creed or sex and lifestyle, as a king, savior and messiah. Jesus, the man, through teachings and words attributed to him, asserted the worth and value of all humankind. None is excluded. Neither you nor I, Muslim nor Hindu, American nor Mexican is missing a seat at his table. That is the essence of the feast of Epiphany. Love and compassion incarnate came into the world to show us how to live.