Today is Epiphany on the Christian calendar or better known as the 12th day of Christmas. You remember the song… “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me” yes, Virginia the song with the “lords a leaping and the 5 golden rings” does have a real meaning behind it after all. Long ago in a culture far away people celebrated Christmas beyond 12 noon on Christmas day when the local cinema opened or the NBA games started and marked the entire season from start to finish.
While Epiphany is a lost tradition for many people these days, Christians included, it is a day we should all be aware of and celebrate. Today is the day chosen to mark the arrival of the 3 wise men following the birth of Christ Jesus. I know our friendly modern manger scene lumps them all together into one barnyard picture but the reality played out a little different and it is believed that the wise men arrived after Jesus was born and offered him gifts and worship. The song we all know and love/hate mirrors this with each gift being more and more extravagant leading up to the 12th night of Epiphany eve.
Before we move on from this Christmas season let us pause today to reflect again on the meaning of the season we celebrate and the gift it offers us. Christmas offers us the gift of Jesus Christ as God’s gift to us. Think of it as the biggest and best present ever made. Imagine if you still had a present left from Christmas that you had forgotten under the tree, you would want to open it now wouldn’t you? Well an amazing gift is still available that is just waiting for you to open.
“By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus.” Romans 5:1 (The Message)
It doesn’t matter what your religious background is; be it Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Pagan, Muslim or even Atheist or Agnostic. God does not want to give you a religion; He wants to give you an everlasting friendship. He wants to give you the gift of salvation and eternal life free from the strings of dogma or denominational trappings. What He promises is an honest and raw friendship with you that will never be broken or discarded. Just reach out and freely accept it.
God doesn’t care where you have been or what you have done up until this moment. Nothing you have done in your past matters – literally nothing. You can’t outrun God’s grace; it is always there for you. God is waiting before you with a gift for you, will you open it?
If you will, just read this simple prayer directly to God, friend to friend.
Dear God, I thank you for loving me unconditionally and for offering your son Jesus to save me.
I admit I need you as my Savior, and today I want to accept you and the gift of salvation that you offer. I confess my past sins to you and ask for and receive your forgiveness. I ask you to be the Lord of my life and to show me how I can live each day for you. In your name I pray, Amen.
That gift is far better than any partridge or geese you might otherwise get.
NOTE: If you prayed that simple prayer above and accepted your own gift of salvation please take a minute to send me a comment or email so I can respond directly to you and pray for you. You have joined an amazing body of fellow believers and we all want to help encourage and support you!