Epiphany Sunday – January 5, 2020

EpiphA20.  Isaiah 60:1-6.  “Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come.” “Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your brilliance.” “All shall come bearing gold and frankincense and proclaiming the praises of the Lord.”  Isaiah the prophet of God prophesies the coming of all nations to recognize Immanuel, the God of all peoples among us.  He is the light of the eternal truth that had not been seen before among the nations. Before, the nations of the earth other than Israel, had been wondering in the darkness of ignorance. Now no longer!

Matthew 2:1-2.  Herod stands as an extreme example of the darkness, shutting any possibility that there is a God to whom he must be subject.  He attempts to make himself his own god and god of all that is around him.  John 1:5 says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  After the magi had left the darkness that was the presence of Herod, the star shown again, “and stopped over the place where the child was.” “They prostrated themselves and did him homage.  Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”  They were open to seeing the light of the divinity in the helpless baby in the manger.  Despite the fact that they were pagans, they had let the light of God shine into their hearts and minds in their past lives that enabled them to immediately recognize the light of God in the baby Jesus.  People of the darkness deny there is any such thing as the light because they let the darkness blind them.

Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6.  God enlightens those who are open to give themselves over to him, taking God as the Lord of their lives.  Paul was enlightened by God so to bring all to see Jesus as Lord of all.  The mystery that had not been revealed to past generations was the lordship of our messiah and savior Jesus.  Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:18: “May the eyes of [your] hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones.” He, who is the God of all, calls all people to be his own.