As I have gotten older I have become more interested in the feast days that are celebrated by the more liturgical flavors of Christianity. Growing up I didn’t know very many people outside of what would be considered evangelical churches. I had one friend who was Roman Catholic but I knew very little about the traditions of that group. It wasn’t until I took courses on Church History and Denominations & Cults that I learned more about those who practice Christianity much differently than I do. I now have friends from many different branches of Christianity and it is always interesting to watch them discuss traditions and holidays that I really am not familiar with.
Today is Epiphany (or Theophany or Three Kings Day). It is celebrated to commemorate God revealing Jesus as His Son. In many branches of Christianity the feast references the visit of the Magi to the Christ child. This represents God’s revelation of Christ to the Gentiles. Others commemorate Jesus’ baptism. It is also important to note that not all groups recognize the same date. Eastern Christians celebrate on January 19th.
The first time I really became aware of Epiphany was back in 2008-2009 when we were living on the Gulf Coast. I remember seeing the brightly colored cake rings in stores and asked what they were all about. That is how I got hooked on King Cake. It was very interesting and weird at the same time. The little plastic baby hidden in the cake was especially confusing but after learning the significance of it I thought it was pretty cool.
The grocery up here in Pennsylvania had King Cakes last year and I was amazed. I didn’t expect to see them. I have already started looking to see if there will be any this year. I admit, I don’t eat King Cake because of the religious symbolism. To me it is just an incredible desert. I am glad that I know the background and can better understand those who see it in a more spiritual light. So, to all of my friends out there who are celebrating, Happy Epiphany. To those who will join in later this month, I will do my best to remember.
Grace and peace.