midwinter moon: a collection of Christmas haiku
By susan beth furst
January 6th is the day Christians around the world celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany,
Wise men came from the east to Jerusalem asking where the King of the Jews was to be born, because they had seen his star in the sky and had come to worship him. King Herod let them in on an ancient Jewish prophecy; that Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem. But Herod had ulterior motives. He asked the wise men to return to him when they found Jesus so that he could worship him too. Of course worship was not what King Herod had in mind for this new little threat to his throne.
The wise men continued their journey to Bethlehem and when they found the baby Jesus it was revealed to them that he was not only King of the Jews, but King of all mankind. Jesus was God Incarnate. It was also revealed to them not to return to Herod for he wanted to kill the child and so they departed another way to their own countries.
Matthew Chapter 2
That's it in a nutshell! Epiphany is all about revelation. In this case a revelation of God sized proportions!
January 6th is special for another reason. It was the day my husband and I met for the first time, at IHOP. Today is the eleven year anniversary of that meeting. I learned many things that day. Herb's mother and my mother had the same birthday. He also had the same first name of my favorite Uncle, Herb.
How many Herbs do you know?
I learned other things too. Herb's mom was from Poland and his dad was from Latvia. They were both holocaust survivors...
Well, it was an auspicious night, and eleven years and ten years of marriage later, we are still learning things.
This morning, I realized that our anniversary and Epiphany were on the same date. This was a revelation to me. I wanted to know if Epiphany fell on January 6th every year, so I did a little research, and yes it does.
January 6th is now officially Epiphany and The Furst's First Date Day.
So what about the dog barking?
I learned that in Latvia, if you hear a dog bark on Epiphany Day and look in the direction of the dog, you will see your future spouse.
Hmmmm, I might be stretching it a bit, but it was on Epiphany Day that I first saw my future spouse. We were at IHOP, not the one in Latvia of course, and there weren't any dogs around, but....
Just one more thing. As I said I am a Lutheran Christian and my husband is a Jewish believer. I was baptized, born and raised in the Lutheran church. Actually, I was born in Shadyside hospital, but it was very close to the Lutheran church. Herb went to Hebrew school, was bar mitzvah'd at thirteen, and attended synagogue.
But he was born in Baltimore Lutheran Hospital...
Or maybe it was just meant to be...
Susan Beth Furst is a poet, author, and sometime photographer. Her desire is to glorify God with the gifts he has given her.