Epiphany service planned at SOS Sunday
This Sunday at 8:30 and 11 a.m., with the star still guiding people to worship, Shepherd of the Sierra Lutheran Church will observe the Christmas of the Wise Men – Epiphany.
Most people who listen to the carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” have no idea that the 12th day of Christmas is a most important Christian holiday. In fact, much of Christianity celebrates Jan. 6 as Christmas. The annual feast at Sharkey’s Nugget in Gardnerville is an example of the importance of the day.
The 12th day of Christmas has a name as indicated above; the name is Epiphany. A Greek word meaning the appearing, it relates to the star of Bethlehem that guided the “three kings of Orient,” or the wise men as they are called, to Bethlehem. Perhaps of most importance to non-Jewish Christians is the fact that this appearance of the Magi marked the fact that Christ’s kingdom was universal – and gave both Jews and Gentiles forgiveness of sins and hope for eternal life.
Some residents of our area – even some members and friends of Shepherd of the Sierra – have complained about leaving our star and our manger scene up for this Sunday. After all, Christmas is over!
My response has been, “It is a shame that people remove their Christmas decorations, and especially their Christmas lights, before Jan. 6. Even commercials use the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” to hawk their products, but somehow, Christians don’t understand the importance of the 12 days. I would wish that all Christians would not only leave their Christmas lights up until Jan. 6, but even add to them for the celebration of the Festival of the Star – Epiphany.”
The theme for worship at both the 8:30 and 11 a.m. services this Sunday at SOS will focus on the importance of realizing that Jesus is the light of the world. In fact, the children’s message will be preceded by their singing that song. Lutheran liturgies all identify Jesus as “a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people, Israel.” And my message for this Sunday will focus on how our daily walk needs to reflect that Light.
For more information about SOS, simply call the church at 267-3680, or better yet, join us for worship this Sunday. We believe you will be glad that you did.