Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Gospel passage for Epiphany is drawn from Matthew chapter two. Here some wise men (no number specified) came to Jerusalem to try to find the king of the Jews, a newborn. Herod, who was already the king, was bothered by this bit of information. Not only did he not have a small child who would become king after himself, these people from a foreign land seemed to have supernatural knowledge of something. Maybe they were intending to find a child and place the child on the throne under their guidance? Maybe there was some deception afoot from Rome? Maybe there was something miraculous happening, but Herod would not have generally expected that.
The chief priests and scribes were able to find the prophecy which pointed them to Bethlehem. The wise men went on to find the child. They were apparently taken in by Herod’s insistence that he wanted to know the location so he could come and worship. After all, in verse 12, the wise men were warned by God in a dream not to disclose the location to Herod.
Jesus, the newborn king of the Jews, the newborn king of all creation, was found. He was presented with noble gifts, but of the sort that could also be used to prepare someone for death and burial. Here the Scripture foreshadows the fact that Jesus is going to die for those over whom he rules. This was the plan of God from time immemorial, revealed in these last days.
The word “Epiphany” means “a revealing.” During the time of Epiphany our readings will be about the way Jesus, God the Son, is revealed to be exactly the savior we need. I invite you to read along and to join with others as we look in wonder at this newborn king of the ages.
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