~ Wishes to you for a "Good Enlightenment" on the holy Feast of Theophany, or Ephiphany. If you are looking for a lesson, try splitting apart the icon, and using it as a beginning. We color and create puppets to retell the story of Christ, St John the Baptist, the Angels, another for the waters, and especially the Dove or Holy Spirit. Here are some talking points:
- In this feast, we find each person of the Holy Trinity fully present and our God is revealed to us. Can you find the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? (The Father's voice is heard, the Son is seen as perfect man, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit is witnessed as a fluttering light, much like that which resembles a dove) The light has appeared to all men!
- We learn that baptism is not only necessary for the cleansing of our sins, but for the regeneration of our souls and for a life in communion with the fullness of the Holy Trinity. We are sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and clothed in Christ, becoming sons/daughters/heirs to the Kingdom of our Heavenly Father. Why? Remember, we fast because Christ fasted; we are baptized, because Christ was baptized; we confess the "Our Father" prayer because Christ taught us this prayer; word for word. Therefore, we embody the hymn "As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ, alleluia."
- Water has always been crucial for life. In this feast, the water is sanctified and offered to drink for the healing of body & soul. Remember the living water that Christ offers the woman Photini at the well, so that we may not thirst again. (John 4:10, John 7:38)
- A short prayer that we can begin memorizing as we make the sign of the cross is:
"My hope is the Father, my refuge is the Son, my protection is the Holy Spirit, Holy Trinity, glory to be to Thee."
Here is a video showing the miracle that occurs each year at the Jordan River, which begins flowing in an opposite direction from the power of the Holy Cross.
"Today the nature of water is sanctified. Jordan is divided in two, and turns back the stream of its waters, beholding the Master being baptized."