When Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest; for the voice of the Father didst bear witness unto Thee, calling Thee His beloved Son. And the Spirit, in the form of a dove, didst confirm the truthfulness of His word. O Christ our God Who hast revealed Thyself and hast enlightened the world, glory to Thee! (Troparion of the Theophany of Christ)
Russian icon of the Theophany
We celebrated the Feast of Our Lord’s Nativity, or Christmas, on December 25th. From Christmas Day to January 5th is 12 days. On the 8th day, January 1st, we recognized His Circumcision where He is given the name Jesus and that he grew up as the Son of God among men (the Gospel Reading Luke 2:20-21, 40-52). January 6th is the Feast of Theophany. This is the celebration of Our Lord’s baptism and the revelation of the Holy Trinity. Looking at the progression of the life of Christ in this light can encourage us to consider what spiritual living is really about; growth until we reach the fullness of God.
Sadly, modern society fails to observe this period of transition of Jesus from a newborn baby to a grown man being baptized. Not long after New Year’s Day (if not before), we have taken the Christmas tree down, shown off our presents, made resolutions and catch phrases for the new year, and wait until the next holiday. Either we look to a day off of work, Martin Luther King, Jr., or the next money spending celebration, (St.) Valentines. Human rights and romance have their places. But neither can fulfill us spiritually. We must aim for something higher, the grace and fullness of God.
Christmas tree death
One does not have to be a parent to admire the growth of an infant to a pre-teen child. Prouder still is to see that child become an adult and his full personality and purpose of holiness is known to all. “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!” Mary, Joseph, a few shepherds and wisemen may have known this at the Nativity. The elder Simeon and prophetess Anna knew at His circumcision. But the voice of the Heavenly Father and descending of the Holy Spirit on Jesus made it clear who He is. Jesus is the Son of God and One Person of the Trinity who is the One God!
If you live in the area, come and see for yourself
Take in the beauty and meaning of the Lord’s Theophany. Grow in His grace and seek the fullness of God.