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Following the Star

January 14, 2024 - Rev. Dr. Jan Remer-Osborn

Today, I am reluctant to move on from miracle of Christmas.  I want to linger in the mood of the first Epiphany, when Christ was first manifested to us Gentiles.  (Matthew 2:1–12). Epiphany this year was on January 6th.

In contrast to our Christmas Eve story, today we hear about God going in a different direction from shepherds.  The shepherds who at the so-called bottom of the barrel in stark contrast to the Wise Ones, the Magi with extravagant gifts, at the top.  All along the way, the mystery who is God, guides these Magi.

It was important for our gospel writer, Matthew, to highlight how God brings these priests of a religion that began in what is now Iran to meet Jesus, the Messiah, long awaited in both Judaism and Zoroastrian religions.   The Magi used the science of their time, astronomy, combined with their religious hopes to find the Messiah.  A surprising interaction of faith stories.    This Gospel writer wanted Jews to know that they while they had been God’s chosen people, God was now choosing the world.

The message of Epiphany is that God invites all of us into his kingdom. We should not take this blessing for granted.  We should not throw it away as we do the empty boxes of our opened gifts.

Let us find and be our better selves. Let us lean on Jesus and the Holy Spirit, his Advocate and use the Word of Scripture in this 2024.  Amen.

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