As you know, the Feast of the Epiphany commemorates the magi or wise men visiting Jesus in Bethlehem and bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:1-12). Holy scripture does not tell us their names or how many there were. No one knows for sure. Eastern Orthodoxy says there were twelve but our tradition says there were three, probably because there were three gifts, and names them Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. But what about the fourth wise man? Continue reading Do You Know The Story Of The Fourth Wise Man?
The Epiphany – Matthew 2:1-12 I recently overhead a man say, “I don’t want to work until I’m too old to live.” He didn’t elaborate or explain what he meant but his words have stayed with me. I think it’s one of those statements that says more than the words he spoke. My guess is that it’s not really even about his work. After all, … Continue reading Longing And Fear – An Epiphany Sermon On Matthew 2:1-12
Whatever God’s insisting for you might be, whatever the “it” is in your life, “it” is God desiring, maybe even needing, to be seen, known, experienced by you. Epiphany happens at the intersection of God’s insistence and our response, and it requires both. A star that is not seen and followed is just another luminous ball of gas. A journey that has no guiding star is just another road trip. You and I give existence to God’s insistence through our actions, our words, our lives. Continue reading God Insists – An Epiphany Sermon On Matthew 2:1-12
What if the experience of absence and the accompanying longings and desires are the beginning of an epiphany for you? What if that sense of absence is the star of your life by which God is revealing God’s self to you? And what if your sense of longing and desire is really God’s longing and desire for you? Continue reading What Is Absent From Your Life? – An Epiphany Sermon On Matthew 2:1-12
“For we observed his star at its rising.” Wise men from the East have followed this star to Jerusalem. They will follow it to Bethlehem. They will be overwhelmed with joy when it stops over the house where the child is. For they have come to pay homage to this child who has been born king of the Jews. Some people have said that star … Continue reading When a Star Isn’t a Star – An Epiphany Sermon on Matthew 2:1-12
St. Romanos the Melodist was a sixth century Byzantine hymnographer. Regarding the star that the magi followed (Matthew 2:1-12, the Feast of the Epiphany in the Western Church) he writes that Christ uttered in spirit to his mother: To all appearances, it is a star; but in reality, it is a power. It went with the magi in service of Me; and still it stands … Continue reading A Star Powered Epiphany
The Church has a custom of blessing homes (as well as proclaiming the date of Easter) on the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6) and the week following. Family and friends gather to ask God’s blessing on their homes and those who live in or visit the home. It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our home, our comings and … Continue reading Epiphany House Blessing with Chalk
“Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?” (From Matthew 2:1-12, Feast of the Epiphany) I received an anonymous letter in this afternoon’s mail. There was nothing to indicate who or where it was from. Everything was handwritten. It was a single piece of notebook paper. It said, “God please forgive me!” Someone is looking for the child who has been … Continue reading Where is the Child? – An Epiphany Sermon on Matthew 2:1-12
“Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
Every one of us comes here today bearing gifts. That is one of the truth’s about the Epiphany. It is true not only on this day but every day. Many of us, however, have never been told this. If we have been told, we frequently don’t believe it. Sometimes we even deny it. “It might be true for someone else,” we tell ourselves, “but not for me.”
Too often we separate ourselves from the beauty, power, and grace of the Epiphany and settle for a flash of insight. We work to “get it,” waiting and hoping that one day the light will come on. We have been convinced that the “aha” moment is our epiphany. That, however, is a diminishment and impoverishment of the Epiphany. It is not the gospel story we just heard and it is not the Epiphany we celebrate today.
The Epiphany we celebrate today is not about “getting it.” It is about what we have already been given. The Epiphany is the manifestation, the revealing, the showing and making known that divine life and presence fill all humanity and creation. It is most fully and profoundly revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. It is not, however, limited to him. He is the archetype of who we can become and the way of our becoming. Continue reading “Carriers of the Treasure, Everyone a Magi”
The collect and readings for the Feast of the Epiphany may be found here. The following sermon is based on Matthew 2:1-12. When our sons were young they often wanted a light left on when they went to bed. There was the nightly reminder, “Dad, don’t forget the nightlight.” Sometimes it was “Dad, would you leave the light on and crack the door.” They wanted … Continue reading The Nightlight of God’s Presence, Jesus – A Sermon for the Feast of the Epiphany, Matthew 2:1-12