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Sunday, January 3, 2016

One More Gift!

It's the most wonderful time of the year again! No, I don't mean Christmas, although that's the other most wonderful time of the year. I'm talking about a church holiday called Epiphany, which falls on this Wednesday. Epiphany (or "Three Kings Day", or "Dreik√∂nigsfest" if you want to go all crazy about it) is the traditional holiday when Christians celebrate the arrival of the Wise Men in Bethlehem. It is a celebration of the revelation of Jesus to the Gentiles, which is what the "epiphany" (lower-case) is - when we understood that Jesus was a gift for all of us, not just the Jews. For some more about the Wise Men and their significance, check out the first part of my post about Epiphany from last year.

Several years ago I started a tradition in our home that I hope others will adopt. You can read about the basic idea in the post I wrote the first year we did it, but essentially we (the parents, the leadership of our home) choose one single gift for each member of our family that is chosen specifically to inspire them to draw closer to Jesus in the coming year. We give a gift because the Wise Men brought gifts! The holiday is close enough to Christmas that it still feels like a gift-giving time, but far enough removed that it's easier to remember that this is all about Jesus, not reindeer or fat men in red suits or elves on shelves any of that other fun stuff.

I encourage you to think about what you can give someone on Wednesday that might help them think about Jesus during the next twelve months. We always keep our gifts ver modest - $20 is more or less the limit on cost per gift for us. If you need some ideas, feel free to read back through my posts form past years about what we gave on Epiphanies past. Or just choose one person and give them something small, even handmade - as long as they know that this is about seeking more of Jesus this year. The Wise Men traveled hundreds of dangerous miles through desert wilderness to find Jesus and bring gifts. Maybe our gifts can inspire us to take a journey deeper into our relationship with Him!

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