The knock on the door startles Mary from her housework.
She opens it to find a group of foreign men at her doorstep. They bring treasures for her toddling child, Jesus. They don’t bring rattles or stuffed animals, but strange gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts whisper clues to her child’s identity. Gold for a king, frankincense and myrrh—often burned as incense on the temple’s alter—speak to his deity.
On January 6th many churches celebrate “Epiphany” or the coming of the Magi to the Christ child. The word also can be used to describe a revelation or realization.
Mary has had a good many of these epiphanies thus far in her short life as a mother. First there was the angel Gabriel’s visit, and then Elizabeth’s prophetic greeting. There were shepherds arriving unannounced on the night of her son’s birth and Simeon’s temple prayer. She hides these epiphanies in her heart to ponder them.
As the new year begins I’m on the lookout for epiphanies too.