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Archive for January 6th, 2015

O God, by the leading of a star You made known Your only-begotten Son to the Gentiles. Lead us, who know You by faith, to enjoy in heaven the fullness of Your divine presence; through the same  Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Old Testament: Isaiah 60:1–6
The Psalm: Psalm 24
The Epistle: Ephesians 3:1–12
The Gospel: St. Matthew. 2:1–12

Intro:  The feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord commemorates not only an event but presents an idea that assumes concrete form only through the facts of our Lord’s life, that is the Incarnation. The idea of Epiphany is that the Christ who was born in Bethlehem is recognized by the world as God.  Epiphany means “manifestation”:  “God in man made manifest” (see hymn, “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise”, #394, Lutheran Service Book). At Christmas, God appears as man, and at Epiphany, this man appears before the world as God. Christ is true God and true Man:  “…one altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person” (The Athansasian Creed).  The manifestations of the Trinity, the signs and wonders performed by this man, and all His miracles have the purpose of proving to men that Jesus is God.  On the Western Church, the story of the Magi has been associated with this feast day but in the Orthodox Churches, this day is called Theophany:  again, God manifest, literal translation.  They remember and rejoice in His Baptism in the Jordan River. Back to the Hymn “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise”, stanzas 1-3, indicates that in our western churches that this was not forgotten.  The 1st Sunday after The Epiphany is The Baptism of Our Lord when the first revelation of the Holy Trinity occurs at the Jordan .  Then one more epiphany:  Jesus changes water into wine.  All three are public epiphanys of God in the man made manifest for Jew and Gentile. As Gentiles who were brought to faith in Jesus Christ, the Magi represent all believers from the Gentile world. 

This day has also been called Christmas of the Gentiles and Gentiles are most of us reading this blog. And the Magi were most likely, well, notorious Gentiles.  Just think: the Magi, foreign astrolagers followed God’s Word to the Child (Mt. 2:  5-6) to worship the Jewish King, circumcised on the 8th Day according to covenant with Abraham (St. Luke 2: 21), presented in the Temple 40 days after His birth (St. Luke 2: 22-38) ,  is their king as well!  Many Christians do not so follow God’s Word, His inerrant Word in these dark days, as did the Magi! And the Word is the only way they could find the Way, as the Way, the Word made flesh, found us. I think T. S. Eliot’s poem, “The Journey of the Magi”, (one of my favorites) is a great and creative take on the Biblical narrative today:

Poem: The Journey of the Magi

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