Another Christmas has come and gone. The gifts are unwrapped and put away. Some of you have taken down your trees, decorations, and outside lights. Maybe your precious nativity is lovingly wrapped up and put away until next year.
I have shared so many memories of my Mom with you this season, and today I get to share one more. My Mom didn’t take the tree down or even put the wise men in the nativity until Epiphany, the 12th night of Christmas, or January 6th.
For many Christians, this is a celebration of the Magi coming to visit Jesus, also known as Three Kings Day. Some consider it bad luck to take your festive decorations down before this day.
I’ve often wondered how the world came to see the Magi coming 12 days after Christmas. Scripture tells us it was later than that, and experts put their visit anywhere from 40 days after Jesus’ birth to two years later. We know they weren’t present the night of his birth, not even at the manger. Matthew 2:11 tells us, “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother, Mary.”
My Mom continued the magic of Christmas on January 6th with the reading of the Magi visit. I looked forward to seeing them in the nativity the night before she took it down. There was no present, candy, or music, just the sweet sound of Mom’s voice reading Scripture to us.
There are so many ordinary moments turned extraordinary that culminate in this sacred event we call Christmas. Pregnancies happen every day, but only one woman bore a child as a virgin.
Two women visiting to share their pregnancy stories is routine. That one of them is a teenager and the other too old to bear children is remarkable. A child moving in the womb is a common part of any pregnancy. That same child recognizing the Messiah and reacting to Him with joy in the womb is exceptional.
And finally, we have the Magi. I love that these men, astrologers who were not Jewish, followed a star to see a King. When they found the baby or little boy with his Mama, they immediately knelt and worshiped Him. Can you imagine? These Gentile pagans accept the true King of the universe while many of Israel’s key leaders sent Him to the cross! That is amazing!
As we begin a new year full of promise and opportunity, let’s remember these moments made wondrous by the hand of our God. He is in the business of using ordinary people to do ordinary things; when done for His glory, they become extraordinary!
Happy New Year!