You may be aware that tomorrow, 6 January, is the feast of Epiphany which, in Western Christianity commemorates the visit of the Magi (wise men) to the infant Jesus. (It is also the date by which all Christmas decorations must be taken down – woe betide any not meeting this deadline!).
The word Epiphany means appearance or manifestation and may be used to refer either to Jesus’ birth (and, in particular, to the revelation to the Magi), to His appearances after His resurrection or to His second coming. More generally an epiphany moment can refer to a sudden insight into the reality or meaning of something. Each Christmas I pray for fresh revelation – epiphany moments – on the very familiar Biblical accounts of the Incarnation. This year two particular insights hit me (you may have seen them years ago but they really spoke to me):
- the shepherds demonstrated remarkable faith in God’s word when they said to one another “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They believed the birth of Jesus the Saviour had already taken place – they believed in order to see, rather than the common objection “let me see, then I’ll believe”; and
- the Magi presented the infant Jesus their gifts of gold, incense and myrrh. They gave very costly, significant and prophetic gifts first to Him, not to Mary and Joseph.
As we enter 2020 may God reveal fresh revelations to each of us from His word. May He grant us great faith. And may we offer our very best, first and foremost to the Lord.
Peace and Grace and Happy New Year