Notice New Things,
See with New Eyes
We begin the new year with a number of very special celebrations. We have the final 5 days of the 12 day Christmas season, followed by Epiphany, also known as 3 Kings Day. This year Epiphany falls on a Sunday, but even when it does not some churches move it to one because it is a great way to close the Christmas season. It makes a ‘bridge’ from the images of Baby Jesus to the adult he became. The story of the Magi. We know this story as the 3 Wise Men, but the Bible doesn’t tell us anything other than that they brought three gifts… a magi wasn’t necessarily a king or wealthy, just someone who studied the stars and the earth and understood their meanings, something between an astrologer and a court advisor to a king possibly).
Epiphany is a single day, January 6th. The church doesn’t call it the season of epiphany, simply marking time after it by counting Sundays until the start of Lent. But Pastor Tim really thinks that Epiphany needs to be a season, because it points to Christ being revealed, and God’s work becoming noticed in our lives. So our theme with worship and Sharing Together Faith Growth from now until Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on March 6th.
The story of the Magi is incredibly rich. It has mystical aspects… the rising of a new star, one that moves through the sky in an unusual way, gentiles (who are outsiders to Judaism) noticing it and following… it all says that the birth of Jesus was an event with implications for the whole cosmos. The Magi were the furthest from Judaism… they practiced magic and astrology. They were probably Zoroastrian priests, who would have been the most outsiders to traditional Judaism. But they noticed. They came. The gifts they brought had huge symbolism.
It all is about new eyes… looking for what is often lost in plain sight until we put on the eyes of faith.
This all carries over to the stories we will read of Jesus life. People saw God at work in him. Through those stories we will ask how we see God at work around us, how Christ is in our midst.
Spiritual Practice: Each season, we will have a different spiritual practice. It might be a devotion exercise, an artistic expression, or something similar. For Epiphany we will take a meditation journey using words that choose us each week. To learn more or participate even without being in worship, see “Star Words for Epiphany”.