In the western world, Christmas most often focuses on December 25eon the first day of a season marking the birth of Christ. In Eastern Orthodoxy, Christmas begins with the Incarnation but is a twelve-day season ending with Epiphany on January 6.e. Epiphany means an “unusual manifestation” and celebrates the universality of faith for Christians, symbolized by wise men from distant lands *. Artistic representations of them have a black, another brown and a third white. The message is that you don’t have to be a Jew to be a Christian ?? an Epiphany ?? in the early days of Christianity, when you had to be a Jew to join the initial small group that believed Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah.
January 6e, 2021 has become a ?? political epiphany ?? for many in the United States ?? a manifestation of the fragility of our democracy in the face of organized national juvenile terrorists who attempt to thwart our constitutionally based electoral system. Our country is still reeling from the data uncovered by the House committee investigating January 6, 2021. At this point, no one knows what will happen with the first anniversary in just a few weeks.
Many variations of the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas to exist, since its publication in 1780. What ?? My true love was sent to me ?? also varies over time. On the twelfth day, in the song, we have ?? Lords a-sautant, ?? Where ?? Ladies dancing ?? as well as my favorite: ?? the bells are ringing. ?? Of course, there are doorbells, ??? the Salvation Army attorney’s bells in shopping malls, the bells in church steeples, and many other bells of joy, but a painful loss is sadly remembered by some. On January 19, 2021, nearly two weeks after January 6, President-elect Biden called on the bells of the United States to ring at 5:30 p.m. EST to honor those we have lost to COVID-19 . No one expected our nation to lose so much again to variants like the Omicron.
TIME?? s Persons of the year in 2002 ** were appointed ?? Three wise women from the West ?? who brought the gift of courage as a whistleblower: ?? Cynthia Cooper on telecommunications giant WorldCom; Sherron Watkins on CEO of Enron; and Coleen Rowley who detailed the FBI’s failure to respond to warnings about a conspirator in the 9/11 attacks. We need more whistleblowers and ringers in 2022! We need wiser leaders at local, state and national levels who truly love democracy. For this to happen, we need more locally wise citizens who are determined to vote and make America a democracy again!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone; and if you follow the rites of Eastern Orthodoxy, have a Happy New Year followed by a Merry Christmas!
* The Bible does not record how many sages there were.
**TIME, ?? The Whistleblowers ??, December 30, ?? January 02-6, ?? 03. The three women were photographed riding a camel.