Sermon 5 January 2020

We go into the cycle of our lectionary and start with the Epiphany. The Epiphany is the revelation of Jesus as the Christ by the Gentiles. We know that this was not at his birth from last weeks reading where Herod had all boys under two years old killed. This brings some interesting points. The Shepherds used the star to find the baby, and the wisemen used the star. This suggests the star of Bethlehem shone for over two years.

So we see the epiphany of Jesus seen in other epiphanies. First the prophecy of the star and a king. There are astronomers who believe it was the aligning of a number of Venus, Regulus and Jupiter. Another is that it was a comet, and another is that it was a supernova. We also need to reflect on the fact that this astrological event was prophesied about in a number of different places and led these gentiles to search it out. The star was an epiphany.

We see that they are not just using the stars though, they are also given guidance by divine means in their dreams. Did they see this as part of their God or the Jewish God? Regardless the dreams are an Epiphany.

How did they pick the gifts? Gold for kingship, frankincense for divinity, myrrh for death. Did they understand more about Jesus’ life then just the birth of a king?

We think of one epiphany, but the one can be surrounded by a number of others. Paul in his letter points to his epiphany about Jesus on the road to Damascus. He sees that it was not just for him, but to benefit the Gentiles. He was given understandings that other generations did not get. He then talks about the Holy Spirit, which is a new concept for many at that time.

He also sees that the epiphany is not just about who Jesus is, but who they are, and that this epiphany should go out from them to the world. (v10-11)

God is still revealing God’s self and Jesus to us and to the world. The revelations are not for personal use, but meant to bring others to understand the truth about Jesus, and like the wisemen, draw people to him.

What are the epiphanies God sends us? What have we done with them? We will only see them as we look and use them.