An ongoing epiphany!
An ongoing Epiphany!
During the season of Advent, we looked with great anticipation towards the coming of Jesus, both at Christmas and at His final coming, when He comes as King and Judge. In celebration of Advent, we sang the well-known and dearly loved hymn, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”. The first verse of the beloved song says, “O come O come Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel. That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel”. Yes, we were preparing ourselves for the coming of God incarnate!
Then as Christmas arrived, we celebrated the birth of the Christ-child, the Son of God, and the long-awaited Messiah. Emmanuel, “God with us”, was now a reality. And the Lord God Almighty first revealed this great gift of a Savior to Israel, through Mary and Joseph, and then to the shepherds. And in commemoration of that glorious moment, we sang the beautiful Christmas hymn, “Silent Night, Holy Night”.
On the first Sunday after Christmas, we read about Mary and Joseph going to the Temple, where they met two faithful saints, who were waiting for the promised consolation, the redemption of Jerusalem, the Lord’s Christ. For these two individuals, Simeon and Anna, there was another epiphany, or revelation of God’s plan of salvation to Israel, in the person of the baby Jesus. He was the fulfillment of God’s ancient promise to save mankind.
Today, as a Christian community, we are celebrating the Festival of the Epiphany. This is the event where God revealed His plan of salvation, in His Son Jesus, to the Gentiles. Of course, we all know of the story, of the wisemen from the East, which the Gospel writer Matthew penned in 2:1-12. This is the first account of Jesus, God in the flesh, being shared outside of the nation of Israel. And to mark the momentous occasion we sing the tune, “We Three Kings”.
As Gentiles, you and I can take great joy in the fact that God sent His Son to be the Savior of both His people Israel and those of us considered Gentiles. And we also need to realize we are part of the ongoing Epiphany story, as you and I share the good news of the Gospel, which is centered in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. We have the wonderful blessing of being used, by God, to reveal His story of salvation to the world. We may not be the three Kings of old, but we are Gentiles and Gospel proclaimers of the 21st Century. Be bold in sharing Jesus with others as the Lord has called you! Happy Epiphany!!!!!!!!!!Pastor McCarty