Devotional — Epiphany

Published 10:30 am Thursday, January 6, 2022

“When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 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.” Matthew 2:9 NRS

Epiphany is the celebratory day that we mark the revelation of Jesus as God’s own Son and savior to all humanity. It is sometimes called “Three Kings Day” and is celebrated on Jan. 6 each year. This day we celebrate because in this event of the kings coming from the East, recognizing who Jesus is, we realize that God was and is not the God of one people, but of all peoples: the day that marks the passage from the coming salvation to the real incarnation and epic wideness of that salvation. It is I think, no mistake that it is only in the Gospel of Matthew, a Gospel almost certainly written by an ethnic Jew.

It is also a day that more often than not passes by us, quietly and uneventfully.

As protestant Christians in the United States of America, we often lose the incredible meaning of this day. While we are well aware of our differences of race, beliefs, practices and creeds, we often forget that religiously we are probably one of the most accepting countries in the world. Something that makes the heightened rhetoric and separateness of the past decade so disturbing for so many.

For so many years, the world considered the God of Israel to be just that: only the God of Israel. This day of Epiphany is the day we celebrate our eyes opening to the fact that our God is not the God of just one race, color, creed or nation but the one who is the God of all humanity! Our God became incarnate for everyone and at Epiphany we should rejoice and give thanks that God loves and wants to be with each of us, the human sinners of everyplace and every time.

This is a day worth celebrating if there ever was one!

KEITH LEACH is Pastor of College Church and College Chaplain at Hampden-Sydney College. He can be reached at kleach@hsc.edu.