Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Reflections for the Day of Epiphany

The day of Epiphany is upon us, and with it Christmas recedes into the background, as we begin our journey into the future, guided by the star that shines brightly in the East.  The word Epiphany simply means "revealing."  It refers to the revealing of God's presence and purpose in the world -- as found in the person of Jesus. 

 Lectionary-wise, we're drawn to the story of the magi in Matthew (Matthew 2:1-12).  They come, guided by a light in the sky, to bring gifts to a new king.  It is a reminder that God is revealed in the most unexpected of places and ways.  Remember, Matthew writes that the magi first went to Herod, expecting to find the promised king in that place.  But, they soon discovered that the promised one, must be somewhere else, and so they continued to follow the star.  And, as they continued their journey, the discovered that the star had stopped, shining its light upon a certain place.  And they responded with joy, and when they greeted the holy family, they presented gifts. 

As we begin the journey of Epiphany today, may the song of the magi be on our hearts, for as the carol, "We Three Kings" puts it, the song in their hearts, rang out with this refrain:

O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

 May we together look to that star, the one Reginald Heber called the "Brightest and best of the stars of the morning" ("Brightest and Best," Chalice Hymnal, 174), and may it guide our paths, so that we two might bring gifts, even as we receive them from the Spirit of God.  


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Robert Shaw Chorale song was nice. Do you know if there are accounts as to how long the star persisted, and the nature of it's leaving (quick or slow? Did it later move? split in two?)? I'd be curious about that. It's fun to give, and even to be reminded of its goodness. David Mc