Epiphany is 12 days after Christmas and it marks the three wise men's arrival. First they came to Jeruslaem (see Mathew 2) and then after consulting with Herod & Co. they were redirected to Bethelhem.
The wise men asked "Where is he born King of the Jews." Herod, the sly old devil, wanted them to tell him where this Christ baby was..."bring me word again that I may come and worship him also." Mathew 2:8 Of course his intention was not to worship but to kill this perceived rival to his power.
The wise men then got on their camels and proceeded to follow the star to Bethelem and they rejoiced and found Mary his mother and fell down and worshipped the Christ child. (please note this correction from former blog of the location).
One of my favorite carols from ages ago..."we three men of orient are..bearing gifts we travel afar...field and fountan...etc. following yonder star." It may have been months or even years on their journey to worship the King of the Jews.
We always like the part about gifts: gold, frankinsense and myrrh. (Mathew 2:11) However, there was another gift they all brought together. That was their total intent to find and worship this King. They left home, they had a very uncomfortable journey..they only had the star as evidence that they really were getting somewhere. God warned the wise men in a dream not to return to Herod. So they went back to their country another way.
What gift did they receive for this journey? They got to see the Christ child and they rejoiced with great joy. Like divers finding a treasure trove after years of searching, they found what they set out to find. They didn't have the gold, the myrrh or the frankincense but they had two great gifts.
One: they had JOY. Joy came with the worship of the little King of the Jews.
The second gift they had was GUIDANCE. God himself warned them in a dream to go back another way. They now had not an external star but the internal wisdom of God to set their course towards home.
Ephiphany has come to mean revelation. When you find the right journey, when you come to the right city, when you find the true one to worship, you will know why it was worth the trip.