1 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’ ” 7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road. -NRSV
The season following Christmas is Epiphany. It both commemorates thetime when the wise men arrive bringing presents, at the home, where Jesus, Mary and Joseph are living and secondly, for us is a time to witness what it means to live know the gift of have Jesus in our home and hearts.
- If you go to the Grand Canyon, you have a new reference of what it means to dig a big hole in the back yard or how to compare a pot hole in the road.
- If you have a ticket for a moving violation, an NSF at the bank or failing grade at school you cross a line in the sand that has quick consequences; how you respond in the future when driving, spending or studying.
Citizenship: Vital to our identity is our right to vote: I’m not ever going to tell you HOW to vote from the pulpit, but I will always tell you, if you don’t vote, you are throwing your citizenship away. It is evident with each election that only a small percentage of ‘registered’ voters turn out, and that does not include those who have not registered in the first place.
We have a heavenly citizenship. An old Gospel favorite hymn of mine is, “This world is not my home, I’m just a-pass’n through… and I can’t be at home in this world anymore. But the truth is, as alone as you and I have breath and opportunity we have both a right and an obligation to tell others, show others, feed, clothe, and inspire others with what gives us life eternal.
Hear Reports of Sharing New Testaments: I gave mine to a young man named Phillip. He seemed genuine in the moment to receive the gift. I don’t think he threw it away. I know he read the inside cover with my name and the church name. I know he heard that God loves him and we read the verses John 3.16-17. He said, “Yeah, I’ve heard that.” I asked him, “Do you think that is true for you?” He said, “I do today.”
Epiphany is sharing the gift, of being gifted.
- Think what gift you could give if you would forgive someone’s past.
- What if you would forgive a debt?
- What if you would seek out someone, a stranger, start of friendship
- What if you asked God to open your gifts and show Himself through you. Go Home knowing Christ loves you and lives through you!