|Altarpiece, Bode Museum, Berlin|
09 January 2012
Epiphany is the celebration on 6 January (or the first Sunday after 1 January) of the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus. The wise men or Kings, who represent the non-Jewish peoples of the world, are said in Matthew to have brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. But how many of them were there? Rev Kylie Crabbe reminded us in her sermon this week (not yet here, but hopefully it will be soon - http://www.armadale.unitingchurch.org.au/index.htm) that the account in Matthew refers only to "wise men from the East". Apparently the fact that there were three gifts leads us to assume that there were three Magi.