Today, January 6, is the Feast of the Epiphany.
It's the day we celebrate the Magi coming to worship the Christ Child. Epiphany is all about God revealing Himself to these three Gentiles, thereby foreshadowing His plan of salvation for the Gentiles as well as the Jews.
The Collect for Epiphany, or The Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, is:
O God, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; Mercifully grant that we, who know thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of thy glorious Godhead; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Tonight we lit our Advent wreath for the last time in our darkened kitchen, symbolizing the light of Christ shining into a dark, sinful world. Then we read the Collect as well as the Scripture reading from the second chapter of St. Matthew's gospel. After dinner we cleared away the wreath and placed the three Magi and the baby Jesus in the center of our table, and there they shall stay through Epiphanytide.
We also cleared away all the Christmas decorations this afternoon -- one of the jobs I hate the most! The kids helped, but it still took three hours and we were all grumpy while we dismantled the tree, packed up most of the Nativity scene, and took down the stockings. Candles were changed from red and gold back to pale green and rose, but we did decide to keep out some of our snowmen collection to be a centerpiece on the school table -- 'til spring, at least.
A blessed Epiphanytide to you and yours! Enjoy the next eight days!