Happy New Year! This Sunday, January 3rd is the first Sunday in the new year, and is the Sunday before Epiphany. Epiphany, or Three Kings Day, is always celebrated on January 6th, 12 days after Christmas Day; it celebrates the coming of the wise kings to Bethlehem.
The wise kings, or magi, lived very far from Bethlehem. The Bible does not say how many kings there were. However, legends tell us that there were three kings, named Caspar (or Gaspar), Melchior, and Balthazar. They traveled to Bethlehem for many, many days, following the bright star to the spot where Jesus was born. Their arrival from so far away and their gifts for Jesus show us that they truly honored him.
Many countries have Epiphany traditions. Families may make a special King’s Cake or bread; there may be processions, parades or gifts for children. Children often wear crowns on their heads. In some European countries, and in some parts of the United States, it is a tradition to “chalk the door” on Twelfth Night (January 5th) or on January 6th.
We are all invited to do this on Epiphany this year! Families write the year that has just begun and the initials of the three kings on the lintel (flat board) above their front door, or on any part of the door they can safely reach – In 2021 it would look like this: 20+C+M+B+21
Then they say a blessing, to bless the house, those who live in the house and those who visit the house for the year ahead.
Here are instructions for blessing your home. You can wear crowns if you wish, and will need chalk – or you can take some sidewalk chalk from the bucket at the back door of our church.
I thought you’d enjoy coloring this picture of the three kings, while you are listening to or watching the Sunday service, or when you have some quiet time.
May this week and the year ahead be filled with many blessings,