“Men and women who have lived wisely and well will shine brilliantly, like the cloudless, star-strewn night skies. And those who put others on the right path to life will glow like stars forever.”
Daniel 12: 3 The Message
Today, January 6th, marks the official observance of the Day of Epiphany, when the Christian church remembers the Wise Men, or Magi, who journeyed to visit the Christ child. Epiphany is always 12 days after Christmas, which is probably intentional. The number 12 is a significant number throughout the bible: reminiscent of the 12 tribes of Israel, or the 12 disciples. One source said that it may have been set to symbolize the amount of time it took the Magi to journey from their home to the manger. Regardless of why January 6th was chosen, Epiphany is when we as Christians celebrate the Magi, and the gifts they brought to the baby Jesus.
Epiphany means “revelation” or “reveal” in the original Greek. God revealed the location of His son, the Savior of the world, through the Star of Bethlehem.
The Magi wandered into Jerusalem, asking about the exact location of the newborn King of the Jews. Why? They had seen the star. As astrologers, they were led to follow it. In actuality, they were following the Lord, as He was leading them to worship Jesus.
One of the major themes of Epiphany is light. It was the light of a special star which guided the Magi, or Wise Men, to the Christ child, who is called the Light of the World. The wisemen followed the light, as we, too, are called upon to follow the light of Jesus.
This scripture from Daniel says that those who live wisely guide others to the light. They are even said to “shine brightly.”
Are we living wisely? Are we allowing the Light of Christ to shine out from our lives? These are good questions for us to ponder on this day when we celebrate light. The star guided strangers to the Christ child. Do we guide strangers in our world to the Christ child? Would people who meet us briefly, see the light of Christ shining through what we do, and what we say?
The light of a star guided strangers to the Christ child so many years ago.…. They came from the East. Yet what is most important is not where they came from, but where they ended up: kneeling before the Christ child. There, they offered Him their homage, and their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. May we kneel before the Christ child. Let us offer him the gift He desires: our faith and trust in Him. Let us give our hearts to Jesus.
Lord of Light,
On this special day, I thank You for the promise of Your enduring light, shining out in the darkness of this world. Protect me when I am walking through a dark place which feels overwhelming. Help me to find that pure light which You desire for my heart. Forgive me when I am not the light You want me to be. Help me to be that light that draws others to want to know more about You. May these things be so. I pray this prayer in the name of Your Son, the Light of the World. Amen