Scripture: Matthew 2:1-11
Hymn: As with Gladness Men of Old
Today is the Feast of Epiphany. This is the celebration of the magi who saw the guiding star in the sky and followed it to find Jesus. These wise men were not Israelites and had not been waiting for the Messiah. But when they saw the star they knew it was for a king. They were from distant lands, and they traveled a long journey to find Jesus so they could worship him. When they found him they fell down on their faces. Their hearts were filled with joy and reverence. They worshiped Jesus, and they gave him special, precious gifts: Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. It was no ordinary star that the wise men saw. And it was no ordinary thing that kings from far away nations should be looking for Jesus. But this had been God’s plan all along. The prophets had said that the Messiah would be a light. Yesterday we read Isaiah’s prophesy that “the people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.” Jesus is that light, and as Isaiah said, “nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” Jesus’ coming was not only for the people of Israel. He came for all the nations, as Simeon said: “A light for revelation to the Gentiles.” Gentiles are all the people in the whole world outside of Israel. We are Gentiles, and we rejoice with the wise men, kings of a sort, who found Jesus. We, like them, have come to His light, and we walk in that light until the end of time, when the day dawns and the morning star rises in our hearts. Jesus, the root and descendant of David, is that morning star.
Lord Jesus, you are the bright and morning star. We worship you with the wise men. Our hearts are filled with joy and reverence at your coming. Thank you for coming to earth to bring light to all the nations, even to us. Teach us to seek you, as the wise men did. We want to be always walking in your light. Amen.