Shirley shares the story of Old Christmas

Published 6:58 pm Tuesday, January 5, 2021

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Old Christmas or Epiphany is a Christian holiday primarily commemorating the Magi’s visit to the baby Jesus and occurs annually on January 6.

For 30 years or more, Brundidge United Methodist Church has celebrated Old Christmas at historic Clay Hill Church in rural Pronto on January 6.

However, because of the restrictions of COVID-19, the traditional service is not being held at the church tonight But, the Rev. Ed Shirley BUMC pastor, said Old Christmas may be celebrated in the homes and hearts of all believers in Jesus Christ as the Son of God tonight.

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“Old Christmas is celebrated at the close of the Twelve Days of Christmas. On that day, the Wise Men, the Three Kings or the Magi arrived in Nazareth with gifts for the Newborn King,” Shirley said. “The fact that these ‘kings’ had traveled so far, so long to see the Christ Child, is acknowledgement that these rulers, these kings submitted to Jesus and is validation of the Christ Child as the King of Kings.”

Shirley said Jesus was about two years old when the Wise Men arrived.

“Many Nativity scenes include both the shepherds and the Wise Men along with Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus,” Shirley said. “But, the shepherds came to worship the Newborn King in Bethlehem in what was, probably, a cave-like hollow in a dirt bank.  According to many Bible scholars, the Wise Men came bringing gifts to the Newborn King about two years later in Nazareth where Joseph was a carpenter.”

Shirley said Nazareth was not a favorable city as it was centered around a dirty well.

“The Wise Men brought the Christ Child gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh,” Shirley said.

Gold was a symbol of kingship on Earth, and the richness of God to all humanity through Jesus Christ. Frankincense was a sweet fragrance was a symbol of deity and myrrh, an embalming oil, was symbolic of the foretelling of the day of Christ’s death.”

Shirley said Old Christmas brings a meaningful close the Christmas season and, just as the Wise Men went away to tell of the birth of Jesus Christ, Christians should go forth to share the Good News that a Savior lives … and through Him is the promise of life everlasting.