Gather round my friends and let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, a baby was born. This was no ordinary baby, this was a king, and this baby king was born in a manger because his parents traveled far and by the time they arrived, the Inn’s were full. So, a stable was their first home, and a manger his first bed. After a while, strangers came to see this baby. There were some as soon as he was born, those called shepherds. They were often societal outcasts, no one wanted to be around them, but God sent angels to tell them about this baby king when he was born.
Later, there were other guests. These men traveled far just like the baby king’s parents had before he was born. These men were wise and had been educated in religion and the sciences, they noticed a star in the sky that announced the birth of the Jewish Messiah. As these wise men neared Jerusalem, they rested at the king’s palace and when asked the purpose of their trip they informed this king about the star and its meaning.
Once the wise men arrived at the baby king’s home, they give extravagant gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to him and his parents. When the wise men prepared to leave another angel appeared and warned them that the king plans to kill this long-awaited baby king, so they return home in another way. The angel also visits the baby king’s father in a dream and warns him about the king’s plan to kill all the baby boys in the town, so the family flees to a neighboring country until it’s safe to return.
So, I’m sure you know this story. But do you know what the Epiphany is celebrating? Advent is the long-awaited arrival of Jesus, the 4 Sundays leading up to Christmas and Christmas-time is the 12 days from Christmas to Epiphany, the arrival of the wise men.
Today we celebrate the arrival of religiously trained and scientifically educated Gentiles arriving to worship Jesus. Today we celebrate with people, all created in God’s image who don’t look like us that worship our baby king, and the gifts that baby king gave to us including himself.
What better way to welcome in the new year than with a celebration of people who love one another, pursue peace, and live justly. May we do the same today and all year.
Gentle reminder friends, if you are not of Jewish ancestry then you qualify as a Gentile. Today, celebrate that Jesus was revealed to and loves all people.