S (Scripture): Matthew 2:9 After listening to King Herod the wise men left, and once again the star they saw when it rose led them until it stopped above the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star they shouted joyfully. 11 As they came into the house and saw the child with Mary his mother, they bowed down and worshiped him. They opened their treasure boxes and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Isaiah 60:1 Arise! Shine! For your light arrives! The splendor of the Lord shines on you!
2 For, look, darkness covers the earth and deep darkness covers the nations, but the Lord shines on you; his splendor appears over you.
3 Nations come to your light, kings to your bright light.
4 Look all around you! They all gather and come to you – your sons come from far away and your daughters are escorted by guardians.
5 Then you will look and smile, you will be excited and your heart will swell with pride.
For the riches of distant lands will belong to you and the wealth of nations will come to you.
O (Observation): The wise men bring gifts from afar, a great symbol of people responding to a light shining in the dark. The wise men were certainly not God-fearers, but were compelled to follow the light that shines in the darkness – Jesus himself.
Light shines in the darkness! Isaiah shared the promise revealed to him: they will gather from afar, all of God’s children. They will follow the light. They followed the star.
This is the Epiphany of our Lord!
A (Application): What is it about a light in the dark that draws us in? As a kid, and to this day, I’m all about night lights throughout the house. Pitch black brings sleep, but the comfort and safety of the small light brings clarity and a path.
Epiphany is all about a light shining in the dark. Kind of like the night light in the hallway…but on a cosmic scale : )
What is the purpose of the light…of Jesus, himself? Like the nightlight, Jesus provides clarity and a path. That path is full of hope and mercy. And that path (paths?) is for ALL people. All are welcome to journey this path.
I hope you or someone you know sees this light and embraces it. I hope you will allow God’s light on earth, Jesus, to bring you clarity and a path to peace and hope.
P (Prayer): Lord, keep on shining your beautiful light. Trust me…we still need it! Amen.