Today is Epiphany, the church festival that commemorates the coming of the Magi to see the Christ child. Epiphanies are revelations, illuminating discoveries, and this day is a day for us to celebrate the revelation of the Christ child as the incarnation of God. Epiphanies aren’t just new pieces of information, they are conscious knowings in our whole being. They are “Aha!” moments that cause internal shifts and make us change course. As you read the Scripture for this day, keep a close eye on the wise men, for they serve as our guides now that the Christmas celebrations have wound down and we return to a so-called “normal life.”
These magi are seekers of wisdom, star readers, interpreters of dreams, and truth seekers. These outsiders are invited into the very beginning of God’s revelation in the flesh by a star (or the Holy Spirit?) and they come to be illuminated by a new understanding. What they see is the miracle of the divine in human form and they are overjoyed. What was revealed to them by a star has changed them, and now having had their own God experience, they change their course and go home by another way.
Luther Seminary Professor Karoline Lewis writes that these wise men “are resisters. They insist that their witness testifies to a truth that will challenge power. That will defy authority. All because they believe in their own experience, their own encounter, their own epiphany. They get that there just might be more to the story than what they have been told. And therein lies the heart of our Christian faith.” What God experiences have changed you? What epiphanies have led you a greater understanding of God’s work and kingdom? How will the story of these wise men and their search for wisdom guide your journey of faith?
In this season of Epiphany, may you continue to seek, listen, watch, and travel into the fullness of God’s grace.
In Peace and Hope, Pastor Ruth
Community Prayer: From Richard Rohr
O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us. May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings. Help us become a community that vulnerably shares each other’s burdens and the weight of glory. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world. [Please add your own intentions.] . . . Knowing you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God, amen.