Epiphany

By: Jack McCall

Matthew 2: 1, 2, & 11

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem… On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

 

Over the weekend, we celebrated the feast of the Epiphany. My perception of the Magi growing up was that they were three kings looking for another king. Maybe that perception was based on how I saw them portrayed in movies and manger scenes around the time of Christmas.

There is probably an ongoing debate over the correct number of Magi that actually traveled in search of Jesus. Some say there could have been more than three, but we assume it was three because of the three gifts mentioned in the above scripture. Some debate the occupations of the Magi, but because they found their way by the stars, most of us like to think of them as astronomers. The other thing about these interesting visitors is that they didn’t come on the very night of Christ’s birth, but more than likely quite some time after that date. We know they were wise men because they outsmarted Herod.

Is it the curiosity over the Magi that consumes me during the Christmas celebration? Not at all! The thing that I reflect on when I think of the Magi is the image etched on my heart from the memories of our family manger scene. My wife and I have carried on that tradition throughout our marriage and are blessed now with the opportunity to pass it on to our grandchildren.

It’s not enough to just revisit the birth of Christ once a year though. We must take on the role of each character in the manger scene and live what their example has taught us. We must have the integrity of Joseph, the obedience of Mary, the faith of the shepherds and the perseverance of the Magi. The only way you and I can have that kind of integrity, obedience, faith and perseverance is to allow the love of Jesus Christ to be born in us. Then, like Joseph, we will make right choices; like Mary, we will fulfill God’s purpose for our lives; like the shepherds, we will live out our faith; like the Magi, we will lead others to the heart of Jesus.

 

TAKE THE CHALLENGE:Am I a person of integrity, obedience, faith, perseverance and love? Do I have a need for more worldly possessions or a need for more of Jesus? What is it I’m really searching for and what is it that I truly bow down to worship?

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