Posted on January 7, 2019 by Nancy Schmitt
“When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering
the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and honored him.
Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”
Yesterday, January 6th, was the Day of Epiphany, which is the day we celebrate the arrival of the magi or wise men who traveled long distances following a bright star in the sky until they found the Christ child. There has always been a great deal of fascination over these visitors. Even though it probably took the magi almost two years to find the Christ child, they often make it into Christmas pageants and manger scenes and also appear on Christmas cards and postage stamps. They also seem to be the brunt of Christmas jokes.
I received a Christmas card this year that said, “Three wise women would have…Asked directions; Arrived on time; Helped deliver the baby; Made a casserole; and Brought practical gifts…And there would be Peace on Earth.”
Like many biblical characters, there is a lot about the magi that we simply do not know. But, the details have little bearing on the meaning of the story. What we do know is that the magi saw something shining in the sky that they had not seen before and they followed it because they knew something wonderful had taken place.
The powerful message of this Gospel story is that God uses all sorts of people and all sorts of ways to show the world the inclusive, redeeming, transforming love that is revealed in the Christ child. Epiphany is a season of searching for Jesus as God’s light in our lives.
May we be intentional about looking for God’s light and allowing that God-light to shine through us so others may follow.