YES its time to move the wise men! This is the feast day of the Epiphany of our Lord – January 6th – the 12th day of Christmas. It is one of my favorite days of the year.
The Epiphany of our Lord is the day we celebrate his “revelation to the world” This is often celebrated with the coming of the Magi.
This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed [epiphaneia] through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
2 Timothy 1:8-10 (NIV)
At times the word is used to refer to the first appearing or revealing of Jesus (either His birth or the beginning of His Messianic ministry) as in the verse above, Titus 2:11, 3:4, and Luke 1:79. At other times it is the revealing and appearing of Jesus at the end of time which is in view as in 1 Timothy 6:14, 2 Timothy 4:1,8, and Titus 2:13.
…to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine [epiphaino] on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
Luke 1:77-79 (NIV)
This passage is one of the reasons that light is so emphasized at Epiphany time, as is the case, for example, in the Orthodox Church’s “Festival of Lights.” It also partly explains why candles are so often used.
Now like I said at the beginning – it’s time to move the Magi!
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'”
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
Matthew 2:1-11 (NIV)
Following in the tradition of the Wise men who followed the star for two years…
- How hard will you search for the savior this year?
- What gifts will you bring him?
- Who will you invite to go and worship with you a the feet of Jesus?
The promise of Scripture is for all who will search Him out:
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
Jeremiah 29:13-14 (NIV)
Keep searching for Him. It is true, Wise Men Do Seek Him!