Hope To The End ..... Holidays

artist unknown;
Bill Lane animation and frame collection

Three Kings from the East come to worship Jesus

January 6 - Epiphany

( the 12th day of Christmas )

The Kings from the East --- by CM Mason
Matthew Series: Magi from the Orient ----- Scroll down to "Kings from the East"

The Other Wise man ( Henry Van Dyke); excellent story for children and adults

Song: We Three Kings of Orient Are
the above hymn is in English, Korean and Thai language

We three kings of Orient are,
Bearing gifts; we traverse afar....
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder Star.

O, star of wonder, star of might,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to the Perfect Light.

Born a babe on Bethlehem's plain;
Gold we bring to crown Him again;
King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign.

Frankincense to offer have I;
Incense owns a Deity nigh;
Prayer and praising, all men raising,
Worship Him, God on High

Myrrh is mine; its' bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Seal'd in the stone-cold tomb.

Glorious now behold Him arise,
King and God and Sacrifice,
Heaven sings, "Hallelujah!"
Hallejujah!" Earth replies.


Christmas Carols

Three Kings Christmas Poem
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Liturgical Epiphany from January 6 to Ash Wednesday

Epiphany is also called "Twelfth Day", meaning it is the 12th day from Christmas.
The Old English Christmas Carol : "My True Love gave to Me" is based upon these twelve days.
Some have applied a religious meaning to these words, and they are good to consider:


The Epiphany Season

Christmas Poem -- John Milton

See how from far upon the eastern road
The star-led wizards
( magi ) haste with odours sweet:
O run, prevent (
come before ) them with thy humble ode,
And lay it lowly at His blessed feet;
Have thou the honour first thy Lord to greet,
And join thy voice unto the angel quire,
From out his secret altar touched with hallowed fire


From Joni Erikson Tada .. speaking about the feast of the Epiphany ...
"Seem odd to still be talking about Christmas? It shouldn’t. Today marks the venerated twelfth day of Christmas. The holiday did not end on December 25th, it began. You’d never know it. On the 26th people immediately ceased singing “Joy to the World” and talking about Immanuel, God with us. It seemed unseasonable to talk about Jesus’ birth even 24 hours after his birthday. Christmas cards and greetings looked “out of place.” Yet in ancient church times, people sang carols for a full twelve days after Christmas, at which time, on Epiphany Sunday, the celebration culminated with the appearance of the wise men from the east.

A friend of mine shows this in his living room manger scene. To his children’s delight, he has the Magi appear somewhere on the other side of the room on the day after Christmas. With each passing day, the threesome are moved closer to the manger scene, traveling past coffee tables and along the fireplace mantle until they reach the Christ child on Epiphany Sunday. Carols continue to be sung throughout the twelve days of Christmas, celebrating the fact that he has come and is with us. The new year looks bright because of Immanuel, God with us. Don’t be timid about spreading a little Christmas joy, even this late in the holiday season:
“You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, and do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’”
(Isaiah 40:9).
In your quiet time today, pick your favorite Christmas carol and sing it to God with a heart full of holiday joy." Joni E Tada


Personal Comment this editor: 12 Days and Always
What I like best about the concept of the 12 days after Christmas is the aura of "afterglow" ... the fragrance still hanging in the air of holiness and closeness with our Lord. In our too modern world of rush , hurry and scurry, the world "slam-dunks" each day into the bin, breathlessly marching ever forward into pragmatism, precision and utilitarianism. If we "stop to smell the roses on the way", life will give back to us the peace, serenity and tranquility needed for emotional, spiritual, mental and physical health.
May we all slow down and patiently enjoy the "afterglow" of each event in our lives. May we make time to take time for the important things : prayer and meditation and a conscious contact with our Lord and God, moment by moment, day by day.

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