January 6, 2019

Reading Nehemiah 1: 4-5, 11b; Matthew 2: 1-12 (NRSV)

To celebrate Epiphany today, I looked up the definition: a sudden and striking awareness of the essential nature of something real. Some might call it abrupt enlightenment.

Wow. That’s what I need. Currently, my vision for life is cloudy. I thought I knew where I was going, but now reality is blurred; the way forward is unclear. I see the same need for epiphany in my church, my nation, my world.

Today’s readings show us God’s reality.

Nehemiah provides a snapshot of God’s essential nature: great and awesome, one who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love God and keep God’s commandments.

Matthew reminds us that the prophesied Messiah, God’s anointed, will be both ruler and shepherd. The magi’s visit shows us the child’s importance to a wider world than the ancient Jerusalem Herod governed. Jesus was the living example of God’s essential nature for all the world.

This is our epiphany: the holy and loving God is with us, in Jesus. When reality is blurred and our way forward is unclear, we can look to Jesus for truth and guidance.

Let us pray. Bountiful God, thank you for the gift of Jesus, given to the whole world out of your love for us. Forgive us when our path clouds and we forget the reality of your essential nature. At this Epiphany, may we again be inspired to help others see the manifestation of your love. Amen.

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