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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Epiphanies: Magi

We are now in the season of Epiphany. The day of Epiphany (which was this past Saturday) is when we remember the first appearance of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi who came to bring their gifts to the child Jesus. But there were many epiphanies in scripture - the simplest definition being a moment of sudden revelation or insight. In this season, let's walk through some of those as we ponder our own epiphanies of the Divine.

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, magi from the east came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star in the east and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him, and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet:

‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah,for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’ ”

Then Herod secretly called for the magi and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out, and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen in the east, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they knelt down and paid him homage. 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 2:1-12

Herod should have known. He was the closest to it all. He was the titular head of Judea and the Jewish people (even if he himself wasn't considered Jewish enough by his population).

But he didn't know.

But these men from the East - likely Persian Zoroastrian priests and astologers - knew. These men who were outsiders

We know almost nothing about them. They likely weren't kings. They might not even have been a group of three...maybe more, maybe less.

But they knew. The coming of the King was revealed to them. They had an epiphany.

It makes me wonder how many things we as Christians miss. What is it that those outside our faith can teach us about our faith?

How open are we to hearing a word from God out of mouths we might not expect?

Open my eyes and ears Lord to your word - wherever it may come from. Amen

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