Monday, January 6, 2014

Epiphany: Lessons from the Magi

Carver Park, MN

“When [the Magi] saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. They opening their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.” –Matthew 2:10-11

Epiphany is the celebration of Christ’s appearing to the whole world. Celebrated on January 6, this day in the church calendar remembers Jesus’ being revealed to the Magi from the East. Not only the nation of Israel, but now all peoples had the savior revealed to them.

The Magi are a wonderful model of people with a heart after God.

Attentive to the Light

The Magi were attentive. Not only were their physical eyes open, but, even more, the eyes of their hearts were open to God. For the Magi, the star was clearly present in the night sky, but they would have missed it had they been busy and preoccupied with other things. Only because they were attentive did they see the sign God had provided.

How can we, like the Magi, recognize the indicators of God’s breaking into our lives? If we are so busy that we are spinning in circles, we will be inattentive to what the Lord is weaving in the events of our lives. Only if we continually bring our focus back to him—attentive to big and little manifestations of his love and presence—will we see the light that God has for us.

Actively Seeking God
Further, the Magi made the effort to seek God. They needed to leave Persia, or wherever in the East they lived, to take a long journey following the light they had been given. They also inquired in Jerusalem. While God took the initiative of revealing the star to them, they needed to respond by seeking him. Only then were they supernaturally led and supernaturally protected as God warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.

The beginning of a new year is a wonderful opportunity for us to seek God afresh in our lives. Whether we are wanting to know God for the first time in our lives—or whether we have walked with him for many decades—we all need fresh seasons of pursuing the Lord, waiting on him, and listening to his voice.

Worshiping Christ the Lord
Finally, the Magi worshiped Jesus. They humbled themselves and bowed down before him in worship. In addition, they brought valuable gifts to him—gifts worthy of a king.

Here again the Magi set a clear example for us. This season of Epiphany—and this new year—are opportunities to worship the Lord at a new and deeper level. Worship requires that we humble ourselves before him, and one very meaningful way to do that is to literally bow or kneel or prostrate ourselves in prayer and worship. Our time of worship before him can be in silent adoration; it can be softly in song; it can be pouring our heart out to him in prayer.

Likewise, we can bring him gifts. These offerings include our time and talent, gifts of money and resources, sacrifices of love and service. Whatever we have to present to our King, let it be the very best that we have!

© 2014 Glenn E. Myers

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