Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Epiphany Debate Goes On

Looking a blogs and websites recently there is a debate as to whether Twelfth Night is the 5th or 6th of January. We always observe Twelfth Night in the 5th, the evening technically is the time to take the decorations down (hence the name!). At midnight it becomes Epiphany. It all depends on the way you count the 12 days after Christmas! For a definitive answer look here

This brilliant website explains it all.

Epiphany then goes on for several weeks, depending on Ash Wednesday which is counted backwards from Easter. Easter is the "movable" feast and can be in March or April! Ash Wednesday is 40 days before (excluding Sundays), known as Lent. The same website explains how all these festivals link to each other.

It is amazing how the years have added details to the Epiphany story. There were 3 gifts but we are not told how many wise men. We are not told their names. The wise men have become Kings. One of these is now black and they represent the variation in nations.

The star is still a mystery, not a meteorite - too fast. What star appears to move and then stop? They followed it, seeing it first in Persia and then followed it West to Israel. There is no proof they came from the East.

Perhaps the simple story is enough. One day a baby was born, in humble circumstances who was destined to become the historical Jesus, a leader of men, a seeming rebel against the Jewish traditions. His teaching was to love God first and then our neighbour. He was willing to die for his beliefs and Christians believe on behalf of sinful humanity.

No wonder Epiphany is called a feast! As the Vicar said this morning when we told him the name of our boat, we have our own personal Feast Day. So we celebrated with Sunday lunch at the Horton Bridge Inn. They do the best 6X in the area so John reckons. The barrels behind the bar certainly look impressive! The food is very good too.

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