Epiphany: Recognizing Christ
by Jason Bendickson
The lights are on! We celebrate the appearance of God come in the flesh—Jesus Christ is born!
When the Magi (commonly called Wise Men in the Bible) saw the star that led to Jesus, they took off on a journey that led them to a place where they could see Jesus with their own eyes. They left for this journey, trusting in their beliefs that when a world leader (like a king) was born, the stars would show the way. They courageously traveled at the risk Herod’s wrath and brought gifts to Jesus. Those three gifts were: Gold – the kind of gift that you brought to a king. Frankincense – the kind of gift that you would bring to a priest. Myrrh – given to someone who was about to die.
While the gifts of the Magi are commonly held as one of the centerpieces of this story, I think the most significant element of this story is that the Magi were not Jews—they were Gentiles – outsiders. And they were first ones to see Jesus. The Good News we can take to heart in this story is that Jesus came not for just a select few, but for everyone!
During this Epiphany season, we will consider what it means to seek balance in our lives, in our experiences and relationship with God, in our closest relationships with those we love and who love us, and in our communities. It’s in this way we can give honor to the One who came to be with us. In this coming year, may we look to God for guidance and comfort, and may we accept God's blessings in whatever forms we find them, just as the Wise Men accepted that their long, expensive, and dangerous journey led them to a baby born to young, inexperienced parents who lived on the poor side of town.
Let your light shine,
Star of wonder, Star of light
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, Still proceeding
Guide us to thy perfect light