The Epiphany | Sunday Observer

The Epiphany

Heads of local parishes and several Christian youth share their views on the Epiphany with the Youth Observer.

Rev. Fr. Nishantha Fernando of St. Paul's Church, Kandy said Epiphany was the revelation of the Christ Child to the world. “The day the three kings met the Christ Child is called the Epiphany. It symbolises the Christ Child being revealed to a non Jewish race. The non Jews represent the whole universe. Until then only the Jews came to worship the Christ Child. But non Jews worshipping Jesus Christ made him a universal leader,” he said. He said, the moment when the Christ Child was revealed to the world was the moment when Christianity was also revealed to the world. So it is important to understand the value and reminisce about Christianity, on the day of the Epiphany.

A Christian youth, Onel Wijesundara conveyed an interesting view about the impact of the Epiphany on the modern world and religion. “Although Jesus Christ was a Jew, three non Jews coming to worship him means that he is not only limited to Jews. Epiphany shows that Jesus Christ came to earth for all human kind and Christianity is not limited only to certain people,” he said. According to Onel, the Epiphany shows that Christianity can be practiced by anyone to shape their lives correctly and the day of Epiphany can be identified as an important day for all human kind including Christians.

Sandali Wickramasinghe, a Christian girl in the Kandy area said “Epiphany is the Christian festival which is also referred to as Three Kings Day; to celebrate the visit of the three kings or wise men to infant Jesus.”

The word Epiphany comes from the Greek word that means “to show” or “to manifest” referring to Jesus Christ being revealed to the world.

According to the Gospel of Matthew the three kings Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar found the Christ Child by following a star across the desert to Bethlehem.

They offered gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. The gifts were symbolic of the importance of the Christ Child’s birth. Gold represented his royal standing, Frankincense his divine birth and Myrrh his mortality.

Kevin Shohan professed “Epiphany is a celebration which is held usually on January 6th which is 12 days after Christmas. The three kings who came to worship the Christ Child came from three different countries and there is a belief that one of the Kings was from Sri Lanka”.

They brought three different items when visiting the Christ Child and those items exemplify three different stages of Christ’s life - his birth, death and resurrection.

Sharon Gamage, a Christian in Kandy explained that the word Epiphany derives from the Greek word 'epiphanies' which means appearance or manifestation. In literary terms, it is denoted as the moment when the gentiles achieved realisation, awareness or knowledge after which events are seen through this new light. In essence, Epiphany characterises the rest of the world's understanding of the path Jesus Christ took to achieve peace and harmony.