What to My Wondering Eyes Should Appear
Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road. - Matthew 2:11B-12 (NRSVA)
January 6 marks Epiphany which means “the showing, to appear, or to be made known”. The church traditionally celebrates Epiphany twelve days after Christmas, that time of remembering when Jesus’ birth was revealed to the Wise Men through a star. Yet this visit to the toddler Jesus likely took place in Nazareth about two years after Jesus’ birth, at the home of Mary and Joseph before they fled from Herod’s threat to kill young boys in order to eliminate a potential rival.
Two years ago, we sat glued in disbelief at our television sets and computer screens as our national capitol was overrun with violence. We could not believe that such a thing could happen. We still search for ways to better understand how it came to that, so that in so far as we are able, we can prevent such a thing from ever happening again.
As long as human creatures have walked the face of the earth, we’ve managed to get ourselves into a muddle of fear and anger that unchecked, can lead to political rivalries, wars and rumors of wars. Fortunately, there is a more excellent way, and the star in the heavens points the way.
At Epiphany, we are visited by the Prince of Peace, come to earth in the vulnerable flesh of a child. Into what anxious, restless manger of your heart do you desire the light of Epiphany to shine? God comes to us in our sorrows and our sufferings, our anger and fear. Then like a mother who shushes our restless whimpering, God whispers “peace, be still. Let all anxious imaginings cease to disturb you. The Lord is come.”
Prayer Come Prince of Peace. Illumine our lives with love, remembering that perfect love casts out all fear. Shine, Jesus, Shine. Amen