The Orthodox Church is very fond of the word mystery. We refer to baptism, chrismation and the Eucharist as mysteries. God is the Mystery; we live in a world of mystery, and the relationship of love that unites us is a mystery. For the Orthodox, mystery is not a problem that we must solve, but an atmosphere that we can breathe deeply in order to find our peace. Knowing that the ultimate reality of things is beyond us is not a threat; it is where we live, move and have our being. Christ’s miracles point toward this Mystery, quantum physics also points toward this Mystery. Reason, logic and scientific observation do not have the final word in determining our world. It has been postulated that the universe is like a clock wound up by God. It ticks along, as a perfect machine, with its gears governed by the laws of physics, but with a God, who is uninvolved after the great wind-up. This is a kind of determinism where God is unconcerned, but it is challenged as we enter into the Mystery, which is the very life of God. Author Unknown.
Theophany is the Feast which reveals the Most Holy Trinity to the world through the Baptism of the Lord (Mt.3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22). God the Father spoke from Heaven about the Son, the Son was baptized by the St John the Forerunner, and the Holy Spirit descended upon the Son in the form of a dove. From ancient times this Feast was called the Day of Illumination and the Feast of Lights, since God is Light and has appeared to illumine “those who sat in darkness,” and “in the region of the shadow of death” (Mt.4:16), and to save the fallen race of mankind by grace.
In the ancient Church it was the custom to baptize catechumens at the Vespers of Theophany, so that Baptism also is revealed as the spiritual illumination of mankind.
The origin of the Feast of Theophany goes back to Apostolic times, and it is mentioned in The Apostolic Constitutions (Book V:13). From the second century we have the testimony of St Clement of Alexandria concerning the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord, and the night vigil before this Feast.
There is a third century dialogue about the services for Theophany between the holy martyr Hippolytus and St Gregory the Wonderworker. In the following centuries, from the fourth to ninth century, all the great Fathers of the Church: Gregory the Theologian, John Chrysostom, Ambrose of Milan, John of Damascus, commented on the Feast of Theophany.