The Epiphany

by Father John Allen

Here is a small reflection on the sermon from this week:

“What do we know about the mysterious Magi who followed a star to Bethlehem? Not much! Only that they were from the East, they were Gentiles, and they sought to come and worship the Messiah. But that is all we really need to know: these were the very first Gentiles to come and worship Jesus, the first who were outside of the covenant with Israel that were now invited in! And so God’s promise to Abraham long ago that through him the Lord would bless all nations, was not beginning to come true. And further, the Magi give us an example of how to act on the faith we have. King Herod had faith, faith enough to believe that the little baby in Bethlehem was a threat to him. But his faith made him afraid of the challenges and changes this little Messiah would bring. The Magi, meanwhile, wouldn’t let any challenge keep them from Him, and so they set a standard for us all to follow”

Matthew 2:1-12 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Visit of the Wise Men

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men[a] from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose[b] and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

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