Light to the Nations "God promises us that his salvation will reach to the end of the earth (Is 49:1-7); he sent his only son Jesus, to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29-42). Because of God's grace and mercy toward us, we put our trust in him (Psalm 40:1-11) and look to the second coming of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:1-9). " - Thomas Oden in Ancient Christian Devotional
The Epiphany of our Lord was celebrated on January 6 but is extended by some churches into a season that includes the weeks preceding Lent. Epiphanytide celebrates the revelation of light and knowledge finally revealed through Christ for the sake of the whole world (Ephesians 3).
The Worship Sourcebook states that "The word 'epiphany' comes from a Greek word meaning 'manifestation or appearance.' In the context of liturgical history, this word has become closely associated with the revelation of Christ in connection with the visit of the Magi." The light of Christ shines on the whole world, even Gentiles from the farthest reaches of the known world.
"If we Christians would join the Wise Men, we must close our eyes to all that glitters before the world and look rather on the despised and foolish things, help the poor, comfort the despised, and aid the neighbor in his need." -Martin Luther
"No one who came to the Jordan was as laden and as afflicted as He. No one was as needy. No one so utterly human, because so fellow-human. No one confessed his sins so sincerely, so truly as his own, without side-glances at others. He stands alone in this, He who was elected and ordained from all eternity to partake of the sin of all in His own person, to bear its shame and curse in the place of all, to be the man responsible for all, and as such, wholly theirs, to live and act and suffer. This is what Jesus began to do when He had Himself baptized by John with all the others. This was the opening of His history as the salvation history of all the others." -Karl Barth, CD IV.2.2
Collect for the Second Sunday after Epiphany
Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ's glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and forever. Amen.
-from The Book of Common Prayer