“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1)
A happy new year 2020 and blessed Epiphany to you! When we hear “Epiphany” we think of the wise men coming to worship Jesus. I remember, as a child, thinking about their amazing journey to come and see Jesus with their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrhh. But I have learned that there is a greater richness that Epiphany brings to us as a time of the church year.
God used the star to reveal to (“epiphanize”) the wise men that Jesus’ mission was be the Savior of all people, of which they were a part; He has worked in us through the water and Word of Holy Baptism that same living faith in Jesus Christ and changed our hearts and lives.
Because He has changed us, we are no longer the same people we were before. Paul says in Romans 6, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” and as a result of that, “ . . . you also must consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
Indeed, we are redeemed children of God saved by grace, through faith in Jesus so that we may join Him in heaven someday. Until then, we live an “epiphany” life in the Word, thought, and action of the Christ child that reveals to (“epiphanizes”) others the true Jesus.
Epiphany is January 6th-February 25th. Some time ago a Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod pastor wrote of ideas to “live God’s light”. In the new year 2020 during this Epiphany season may we use them as well:
- Share the splendor of Epiphany as God did by the guiding star and worship Jesus with precious gifts;
- Draw on your baptism for comfort, confidence, and courage;
- Use your newness of life to care for others;
- Let the words of your mouth and the meditation of your heart be acceptable to the Lord;
- Live a life of love as described by St. Paul;
- Excel in building up the Church;
- Strive to live the “blessed” life outlined by Jesus;
- Remember that Jesus is God’s Son and Chosen One; and
- Listen to Him.
Shalom in Jesus our Risen Messiah,
Pastor Peter M. Peitsch