Epiphany of our Lord – Isaiah 60:1-6; Matthew 2:1-12
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. (Isaiah 60:1; NRSV)
On entering the house, [the Wise-ones] saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. (Matthew 2:11; NRSV)
Here they are, at last, the Magi have entered the scene. Their entrance signals the end of our Christmas Celebrations as Church (even if our Christmas Celebrations as Society have been over for two weeks now).
In Advent, we are given an opportunity to dwell in the active hope that Christ will one day return to set us, and the whole of creation, free from bondage to sin, decay and death.
In Christmas, we are given an opportunity to dwell in the astonished bewilderment that God cares enough for us to become one of us (see the “Christ Hymn” Philippians 2:5-11).
In the celebration that ends this season, and begins the next, we are given the opportunity, alongside the wise persons from far off places, to bow in humble awe as we let the full weight of God’s cosmic “Aha Moment” strike us.
It is my fervent prayer as a pastor in this community, that you take this next month and a half to dwell in that “Aha Moment”, that “Epiphany” of God’s light and grace made fully known in Jesus, the bright shining star, the abiding presence of God’s love, the pure vision of God’s righteousness, hope and love.
So, as the Wise-Ones of ages past, let us bow our knee in humble adoration of our God made fully known in Jesus Christ, the one who continues to strike us with “Aha” moments from God!
O God, on this day you revealed your Son to the nations by the leading of a star. Lead us now by faith to know your abiding presence in our lives, and bring us at last to the full vision of your glory, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen!
– Pastor John Sipf, St. Mark’s and St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Churches