Epiphany – January 6th
Light all the candles.
Today we celebrate Epiphany, which helps us to remember how the wise men (magi) visited Jesus and gave him gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh.
Sing or read the first verse of "We Three Kings."
We three kings of Orient are;
bearing gifts we traverse afar,
field and fountain, moor and mountain,
following yonder star.
O star of wonder, star of light,
star with royal beauty bright,
westward leading, still proceeding,
guide us to thy perfect light.
(See full hymn on page 254 in The United Methodist Hymnal.)
When looking at the center candle, remember God sent Jesus to give hope, peace, joy and love to all people. Outside Bethlehem, the shepherds saw a great light and heard the voices of angels. They traveled to the manger and saw the baby Jesus. Far away from Bethlehem, wise men saw a star in the sky. They followed the star and were filled with joy when they found Jesus. They are a reminder the gift of Jesus was not just for the people in one place, but for all people.
Read Matthew 2:1-12 New Revised Standard Version
"After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:
"‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’" Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him." After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 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. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route."
Reflect: It's amazing to think of these persistent travelers who were determined to find Jesus. They traveled with hope and faith in the promise they would find the new king. Who in the world need to know of God's promises? What are your hopes on this Christmas day for the world? How can you help people remember God's promises after Christmas is over? Name one thing you are willing to do this year to help you and others remember God's promises.
Prayer: Dear God: Thank you for your son Jesus. Thank you, God, for sending Jesus for ALL people, not just those in one place at one time. Help me/us remember and rejoice again because Jesus was born. May I/we live every day remembering your love and care, showing love and care to others. AMEN.