Sunday, January 6, 2008

Epiphany Reflections


Below are some reflections for the Feast of the Epiphany from a website called "Preachers' Exchange." You can read the entire reflection here.

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[Epiphany] is the day, not of the three kings, but of Christ’s revelation. Our God is reaching out to all people, especially those considered outsiders and strangers—like the three Magi.

The gospel reminds us that not all will see and respond to the light. The Magi see it and respond; Herod, advised by the chief priests and scribes, should have seen and accepted God’s light, but instead, rejected it. The irony of today’s gospel is that those who were closest in religion and tradition, who knew the scriptures and prophecies about the messiah, who, in a way, did have the light, did not see or respond to it. While those who were complete outsiders, when they saw the light, got up and followed it to the Christ child.

Epiphany is the feast of those called by God’s grace to leave behind the familiar and accustomed and to go searching for Christ in, what seems to be, the most unlikely places. Where will we find him and what gifts shall we bring when we discover Christ in our world? In place of frankincense, we could advocate for poor families, especially for single parents and the newborn. There are 25 million poor children in our otherwise-wealthy country, and untold numbers throughout the world. In place of gold, we could contribute to help those at shelters for homeless families, or international programs for children and the aged. In place of myrrh, we could visit the sick and dying.

The gospel story tells of a light in the sky that guides the foreigners to Christ. We don’t have the star; but grace is continually given to help us find Christ. God’s grace does what the star did for the Magi, it guides us to the out-of-the way places where Christ can be found. The Magi came bearing the types of gifts one would bring to royalty in a palace. But today Christ isn’t found in a palace; he isn’t rich, he is poor. The Epiphany reminds us that each day Christ manifests himself to us in the world’s lesser places and in surprising people. Those are the places to go looking and bearing gifts—starting with the most important gift, ourselves.

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