“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).
It is a great Bible verse. But when I see it on bumper stickers, and friends tell me it is their “life verse,” I often wonder: Do those friends even know what Jeremiah had in mind when he wrote that verse, so many years ago?
Taken down your Christmas decorations already? Not so fast!
As my longtime friend (and fellow blogger), Virginia Woodward, reminded me, this coming Sunday, January 6th, commemorates the ancient Christian feast day of Epiphany, when the Magi came from the east to bring gifts to Jesus at Bethlehem (not on Christmas, I will remind you). Virginia has a wonderfully happy post about the “Three Wise Women” you might enjoy.
Another reason why still holding onto the Christmas season might be a good idea, is the fact that not all Christians actually celebrate Christmas on the same day. Many Eastern Orthodox still hold to the old Julian calendar, as opposed to the Western, Gregorian calendar, which differs by 13 days, placing Christmas on January 7 (per the Western Calendar).
For those inclined with a more skeptical bent, you might want to consider Ian Paul’s blog post about why the Epiphany story is indeed historically plausible.
Now, I know that some of my fellow evangelical friends get weirded out when someone brings up days on the Christian calendar, like Epiphany, which may not seem too familiar: “Where is that in the Bible? That is too liturgical!” However, it is important to keep in mind that the ancient Christian calendar helps to draw our attention to important events that are described in the Bible, stories that need to be passed onto the next generation of believers, as the following one-minute video by the Museum of the Bible explains.
Comedian John Crist is a funny guy, but he hits really close to home on this video. Comedy can be prophetic. Ouch.