Epiphany 2019

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Mina gave this Epiphany decoration to me around Christmas of 2003. She wrote on the card (which I’ve kept) “Jan, Just a little something for the season of rejoicing—May this be your best Christmas ever! Hugs, Mina” Every year it decorates a shelf during Christmas season.

“Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” Matthew 2:2

Yesterday we celebrated the Epiphany of the Lord. It was the twelfth day of Christmas. I never thought much about the twelve days of Christmas except when I sang the song about odd gifts of birds and dancers and twelve drummers drumming. Since we feast and exchange gifts on Christmas, I went looking for countries that give gifts on Epiphany. Apparently citizens all over Europe celebrate Epiphany. In Spain, the children get a few gifts on Christmas, but the real gift getting happens in remembering the Magi bringing gold, frankincense and myrrh to Jesus. It’s scary that these rich gifts were the beginning of a horrible massacre of baby boys. Who said the Christmas story was about silence and peace? Our children in the U.S. don’t hear about “the rest of the story”. Of course those wise men were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, the instigator of this bloodbath, or they may not have been able to return home. Instead they departed for their country by another way. After they left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,”Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” (Matthew 2:13) Jesus escapes this carnage to later fulfill God’s plan of rescuing our souls from death.

My pondering today is the word homage. It isn’t a word we use often. According to dictionary.com, synonyms for homage is honor, tribute, fidelity, loyalty, devotion. These magi or wise men on camels traveled a great distance to do homage. How do I give honor to Jesus? To give tribute? Loyalty? Devotion? Do I seek His wisdom? Are my opinions more important than His truth?

Help me Lord discern the difference between truth versus falsehood and seek your wisdom every day.

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