Tomorrow is Epiphany which occurs twelve days after Christmas. For some in the world, Epiphany is a more important day on the Christian calendar than Christmas Day itself. And yet, we rarely celebrate or acknowledge this day in the western world. I seldom think of the importance of this day. In fact, if I have the Christmas tree down, the wreath off the door, and the Nativity safely boxed up and put away twelve days after Christmas, then I pat myself on the back for getting my life and house back to normal in good timing after the holidays.
Today, I was reminded twice of the significance of the Epiphany. First, I read on Facebook a posting written by a friend in Spain saying she had just seen the parade of the Three Kings. Then, at church, we read scriptures about the significance of this day when the three wise men visited and brought gifts to Jesus. We so often see our Nativity sets complete with shepherds and wise men that we forget that it required a length of time after the birth of Christ for the magi to find the newborn Jesus, and it required a journey that changed the direction the wise men would take after they encountered Him.
When I first read my friend's account of seeing the parade of the Three Kings in Spain, my mind went back to the classroom. Every year on the first day back after the Christmas/Winter Break, I would have my freshmen and sophomores read a story by Sandra Cisneros called Three Wise Guys. I love this story. It is the story of a family from Mexico that now lives on the Texas side of river. They received a very large box from a benefactor for Christmas. The mama will not let them open the box until January 6, Three Kings Day. There is much anticipation and speculation about the contents of the box that occurs before the day finally arrives when the box can be opened.
I will not tell you how the story turns out because I don't want to spoil it for you. I did provide a link for you. If you click on the title of the story in the paragraph above, you will be able to read the entire short story yourself. It won't take long to read, but I think you will enjoy it. I loved teaching this story for many reasons:
- First, it was a story my classroom which was predominately filled with Hispanic students could connect with culturally and spiritually.
- It is a story that is a delight to read because Sandra Cisneros' voice is clearly heard. I love to read anything she writes.
- It is a story about gifts. Do we always appreciate them? Do we understand the significance of the gift when it is given?
- It is story about transcendence.
Since it is the first week of the new year, I do hope you won't find the greeting this video a bit too late. I am sending it as my gift to you for Three Kings Day. I do hope you enjoy watching it. Happy New Year and Happy Three Kings Day!
If you have trouble opening the video from YouTube, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhiF-PD4E_c#t=10 I hope this link works.
P.S. I hope you will indulge me in allowing me to post some very old news in the next few days or weeks. I will recount our Christmas holiday which included a journey to Utah. Stay tuned...