“And there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.” Matthew 2:9b-10 (NRSV)
Epiphany is a time when we remember the visit of the Wise Men/Scholars/Magi (whatever you want to call them – they weren’t kings, though). It’s also more than that, though. The celebration of Epiphany is about the “in-breaking” or manifestation of God into our world. It’s a revelation or a moment of understanding or realization.
The story of the Magi, who were probably more astrologers, has most likely been included by Matthew to establish that the ministry and mission of Jesus was for more than just the Jewish nation. This would be an “aha” moment for many of the Jewish people because, as God’s chosen nation, they would not quickly accept Jesus as a Savior, much less as a Savior for ALL. Since the Magi were Gentiles, their presence in the birth narrative in Matthew is a good indication that Gentiles were also welcome in the kingdom of God.
The idea of the star as their guide and how it lit their way ties in well with the teachings that God brings light; Jesus is the light of the world; and we are to shine our light for others to see Christ in us. The Divine and light go together. Epiphany shows us the way the Light came into the world to “enlighten” us, to teach us about God and God’s love, to show us how we are to brighten someone else’s life by sharing the love of Christ with them.
What are our “aha” moments when we realize that God’s presence is with us? When have we experienced the joy of “seeing the Light” in some way or another? How do we share that Light with others? Let us keep our eyes, hearts, and minds open to see the presence of God wherever we are.