Today is the Feast of the Epiphany – unusual because although this is a yearly occurrence, the Feast of the Epiphany doesn’t usually fall on a Sunday. And it’s only on this day, January 6th, the Feast Day, that we get to read the story of the wise men from the East and their visit to the Christ Child. Today is the Feast Day when we celebrate the fact that Christ came into the world to be the Light of God’s love for EVERYONE – even those outside of Jerusalem, outside of Israel, outside of those who know the Nicene Creed and all the proper times and places for sitting and kneeling and standing in church.
At St. David’s, we light the Pascal candle every Sunday to remind us that Christ is the Light of the World for everyone; to remember that each of us follows some light, some star, some voice to find our way to life and love.
We are all part of the sacred story. We are the people on whom the light has dawned, God’s magnificent ‘AHA’ epiphany to the world. God loves us. God wants to live with us. God loves you. God wants to live with you. God wants to be the guiding light of our lives, the meaning maker, the One who breathes light into our darkness and confusion. “Where is the child?” the magi ask. We’ve seen the star, we’ve come all this way, and we won’t stop until we meet him face to face.
Whether we know it or not, whether we want it to be true or not, every single person on the face of the earth is on a journey towards that child. If we are wise, like the magi, we will make it the work of our lives to figure out which star we ought to be following, which light, which voice is true. We will search and follow the light to its resting place.
Over the course of the next few weeks we’ll read other stories of people who realize they need to follow God in a new way or see the Light of Christ in a new way. Next week we’ll read of Isaiah’s call into ministry and of the baptism of Jesus, where John the Baptizer learns to see Jesus in a new way. We’ll read of the miracle of water changing into wine and how that changes the disciples view of who Jesus is, how the people of his hometown in Nazareth have a hard time seeing Jesus for who he is and, of course, we will end the Epiphany Season with the Transfiguration, when Peter, James and John get a radically new vision of the One they’re set on following.
Who are you following? Where do you find your North Star, your guiding light, that one voice that tells you the truth, even when the truth hurts, but always with love?
The Magi left the lives they’d had to follow a star that called them away from everything familiar into the unknown. They made the journey from their home in the East (and the East may have meant Iran or India or anywhere in between – we aren’t sure) over mountains and through the valleys into a foreign country, to meet Jesus face to face. I don’t know how far you or I will travel before we come face to face with Christ. I don’t know how many mountains we’ll need to climb or how many valleys we’ll have to slog through. If the Magi’s story is anything like ours, we can be sure that the star will lead us truly and that at the end of it all, it will be worth it. We will meet the child, the Light of God’s love.
O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now only by faith, to your presence, where we will see your glory face to face. Amen.