Once when I was in New York City I took a Path Train to Hoboken.
The crowd on the train was large and was in a kind of in a take no prisoner mode.
It was easy to see how a little boy got momentarily separated from his Mom as the train emptied out everyone was pushing and shoving.
As soon as he realized that all of the legs he saw didn’t belong to anyone he knew he screamed out Mom Mom where are you.
He was lost alone and afraid
It probably seemed like a long time to him, but almost immediately a woman appeared knelt down and hugged him saying “I’m Here I’m here it’s Ok I’m here I love you. “
Even the hard nosed, crowd gently parted around them and let them have that moment of comfort together on the platform in Hoboken.
The Magi were looking for something.
They were weren't completely satisfied or comfortable.
There might have been an empty longing in their lives or hearts.
Whatever it was, it compelled them to leave everything familiar to them, home family, whatever, and follow the star.
And as they followed the light of the star or the light of faith, they came upon a manger and the child.
The gifts they brought teach us what they had come to believe about the Baby in the Manger.
Gold was a gift for a king.
Frankincense was used in the Temple to worship God
Myrrh was used to anoint a body after death.
You see through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
And the light of the star or the light of faith they came to understand that the baby was
- the King of God’s Kingdom hence the gold.
- The Son of God hence the frankincense,
- Who would one day pay the ultimate price on the cross.
On the other hand the manger and the baby tell us
what God wanted the Magi and us to understand about Him.
By revealing Himself to us in the manger as a Child,
God was saying. I don’t want to be feared,
Rather I want to be loved like all humanity loves a child
The experience of meeting the Child Jesus changed the Magi so much that it opened their eyes to real evil intentions of Herod, and those like him in the world and they did not journey back to him.
Yes the Epiphany teaches us about Humanity’s search for God and God’s search for humanity.
It also teaches us that God’s message and God’s love was not just meant for the Jews or God’s chosen people.
The light of the star did not only shine on Israel.
The Magi came from the East.
It shined on the whole world
And because of this it took away any division anything which separates us one from another. …
The call of the star to all humankind prefigures Jesus’ final words to the apostles just before he ascended into heaven at the end of Matthew's Gospel.
When he said go and make disciples of all nations,
that’s ALL Nations baptizing them in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit
Last year one of our senior citizens who lives alone asked me if the terrorists were going to come here?
She told me that every week she was buying a couple extra can goods on sale and keeping them on her shelf in the cellar in case there was trouble.
I told her not to worry if anything ever happened we would all help each other.
There is a lot of fear in our world and a lot of anger and a lot of bitterness so many people seem to feel left out or left behind.
There is also a search for God it’s almost like humanity feels lost and alone and afraid. Like that little boy on the platform humanity calls out God where are you.
On The Feast of the Epiphany we take comfort in the way that God chose to show Himself to humanity, as a beautiful little helpless child
A Child who would also be Jesus our King, Jesus the Son of God, Jesus our Savior,
The child Jesus in the manger is meant to comfort, console and inspire our broken lost humanity it is meant to give us hope
Like that mom comforted her son on the platform in the Hoboken station.
It’s God’s way of saying I’m here I love you don’t be afraid I’m here. Amen