This past Sunday marked Epiphany in the life of the Church.
It kind of gets a raw deal as far as the various “days” of the church. Epiphany is the Sunday when we celebrate the Magi, the Wise Men from the East, who saw the star in the sky telling of the birth of Jesus. To get the full story (and its a quick one) check out Matthew 2:1-12.
No, these dudes were most likely not at the manger scene, despite what nearly every manger scene would tell you. They probably made their way to pay homage to Jesus much later, maybe as many as two years later. After all, they had a long journey the landscape they traveled wasn’t the easiest to cross.
Have you ever seen the sky lit up with stars, I mean really lit up…someplace far away from city lights, out past the country into the sticks? I’ll never forget a trip to Nicaragua, we were far away from all real civilization. It was after a major hurricane, so everything had been wiped away, and these people were living as if it were 1872. You could have filmed westerns there it was so removed from any modern technologies.
But at night the sky lit up. It was a less humid environment and completely devoid of any light pollution. And there were stars man…
The stars we know from our backyards were there shining brighter than I’d ever seen them, but there were more… It was as if there were two, three, four layers of stars shining bright. There were more stars in the sky than I had ever seen.
This would have been similar to the sky the Magi were looking at in their time. They didn’t have the lights of a big city, or a massive street light, or “that neighbor’s” über bright porch light shining bright and blocking out the stars.
No the Magi saw the stars. And patiently waited until they saw the Star of Bethlehem. They didn’t get the super literal message from a band of heavenly hosts proclaiming: I bring you good news…Your savior is born today in the city of David…
Nope. These guys were patiently waiting for the sign in the skies, and one evening they looked up and saw something new and knew:
His star is rising, the King has been born.
I can only imagine being able to look at the thousand of stars in the night sky and seeing that one star in the midst of all the rest as special.
Much like God looks down on us. In the midst of this vast sea of humanity sees you and me. And loves us so much the light the Magi saw announced the birth of God’s son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born to save you and me.