My dear fellow saints,
On this first Sunday of 2019, New Year’s greetings are extended to everyone. Today is also the Epiphany. Therefore the Church is focusing on God’s manifestation to people outside the Jewish community. It is for us both a celebration of the privilege to be included in the light of the knowledge of God and a challenge to bring others into that light.
The fascinating story in Matthew 2:1-12 is tremendously enlightening. Three Magi, men who looked to the stars for guidance, and by the definition of the word were probably considered magicians, received the revelation by the appearance of a special star that a Jewish boy-king was born. God’s use of a star to guide the magi to baby Jesus is not a legitimization of astrology and horoscope. It’s a highlighting of the marvelous news that even persons who may be considered farthest from the kingdom of God have the freedom to come to God.
In contrast to the Magi, the Jewish wise men (the chief priests and Scribes), who knew from their Scripture where the Messiah would be born, didn’t follow the lead to seek for Jesus. And while the Magi desired to honour the Baby-King, when King Herod learned of Jesus’ birth, his subtle intention was to have him killed. The caveat is that, we who know of Jesus’ birth should avoid the failure to walk in the light of God.
The special star led the Magi to the place where Jesus lay and they worshipped him with their costly gifts. This is a demonstration of the wonderful news of God’s welcome for people of all nations. May this make us rejoice, but also challenge us to be faithful to Christ’s command to go and teach all nations that we may assist with their conversion. Let us renew our commitment today to seek and serve King Jesus that we, and others through us, may come to know, love and worship him.
The Very Rev. Ernest Flemming ————–