January 1, 2020

 

FROM THE PASTOR . . .

 

Arise, shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Isaiah 60:1–3

 

January ushers in the season of Epiphany. This year the Epiphany season takes us to the end of February. Epiphany is a word that comes into our language from the biblical Greek, meaning “appearance,” or “manifestation.” An epiphany can be understood as an “a-ha” moment; that moment when the light bulb goes on in your mind; that instant when the last piece of the puzzle finally reveals the full picture.

 

During the season of Epiphany, we celebrate the revelation, the “a-ha” of the Son of God coming into our world as a human being, Jesus Christ. The first “a-ha” moment was reserved for Mary and Joseph when the Son of God, Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary. This is when Jesus Christ, the light of the world, first penetrated the thick darkness of the peoples. The Light did not shine for Mary and Joseph only—it spread, and quickly. The shepherds were also drawn to the babe wrapped in swaddling cloths. When they departed, they did not keep this “a-ha” moment to themselves but made it known as they returned to their flocks. These “a-ha” moments, are of eternal significance. The Light has shined. His glory will be seen upon you. Life will never be the same. Thanks be to God!

 

The event that typically marks the beginning of the Epiphany season for us is the visitation of the Magi or wise men. They are lead by a star to the infant Jesus. They travelled from the east looking for “He who has been born King of the Jews” (Matthew 2:2). These men from the east were not Jews, so their recognition of Jesus is the first manifestation of the point that Jesus came not only for the Jews, but also for Gentiles. (That’s us!) His light is not discerning. It attracts the “nations,” that is, everyone. When the wise men from the east bow down and worship Jesus, an “a-ha” moment was triggered. Light was shed upon the words of Isaiah: “And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” Jesus is the light of the world.

 

This season of Epiphany, we give thanks to God for shining His light upon us, for revealing Himself to us in His Son, Jesus Christ. For in Christ, we have been called out of the darkness of our sin and into His marvelous light of forgiveness and salvation. Life will never be the same!    

 

In Christ,

Pastor Matt

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