The Epiphany of our Lord – Ephesians 3:1-12 & Matthew 2:1-12
“Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things.” (Ephesians 3:8-9, NRSV)
“In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?’” (Matthew 2:1-2a, NRSV)
It seems like we have been surprised by the rise of religious radicals in the world today and the attraction they have to many young people, even young people who are of families of traditional values, even families of wealth and prestige. There are Christian, Jewish, and Islamic voices today who remind us that we live in a time and a worldview with the mistaken notion that religion will eventually be overcome and replaced by secularism: science, psychology, a free market economy, even liberal democracy. None of these things are bad in themselves, and all truth is God’s truth. People seek answers, however, that the secular cannot provide. Who am I? What is the true meaning of life? Why are we here? All of the major religions can provide answers, and testimony against those who see God as an excuse for terror and power. Scripture tells we who claim to bear the name of Christ that in Christ, God was reaching out not to just a single ethnic group, territory, or religion but to the whole world—not to subjugate others but to bring the peace and freedom that Christ sets us free for. What say you? Who are you willing to say it to?
Lord of the nations, give us understanding of all of those who claim to follow God in constructive ways. At the same time, give us understanding of ‘the boundless riches of Christ’ in our lives, and be willing to proclaim it and live it wherever we are. Amen.
– Fr. Larry Parrish, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Falls City