The church in Yaodu district, Linfen, Shanxi, held the first-ever Epiphany service on January 6, 2018, attended by over 50 pastoral staff.
Epiphany, one of the three oldest Christian holidays, means that Jesus manifested his divinity to the world three times. The church chose January 6 as the date since it falls on the twelfth day after Christmas, and is also called "Twelfthtide" and "Little Christmas", marking the end of Christmastide and the beginning of Ordinary time ( a liturgical calender).
Since the end of last year, the church in Linfen has been following the liturgical calendar.
Presided over by Rev. Yang Senlin, the service consisted of greetings, calling, confession of faith, intercessory prayer, Scripture reading, and hymns singing.
Rev. Geng Fuqin shared Jesus' three manifestations --- his birth, baptism in Jordon, and the Transfiguration, in a sermon named "Worshiping Jesus". Attracted by a star, the Magi from the east took the trouble to look for the King, but unexpectedly found the palace in Jerusalem after following the will of man. Consequently, their arrival disturbed King Herod and all Jerusalem, and Herod commanded the death of every boy who was two years old or less in Bethlehem. But guided by God, they met the baby Jesus and presented him with gold, incense, and myrrh.
The pastor exhorted the congregation to obey God's will and guidance in ministries in the new year and to offer their most precious thing, time, to the Lord.
The service concluded with a benediction.
(The author is a worker of the church in Yaodu District, Linfen.)
- Translated by Karen Luo