By Lilly Lewin
The season of epiphany begins on January 6th. Epiphany means….an appearance, a displaying, a showing forth, a making clear or public or obvious. I love Epiphany because it allows us to revisit the Christmas story outside the craziness of the holidays and reminds us of the beauty and messiness of Jesus’s arrival into our world. Epiphany gives us another chance to consider Emmanuel, God with us. So grab your journal and a cup of tea and take some time to be with Matthew 2 and embrace the gift of Epiphany.
The season of epiphany celebrates the making known of Jesus Christ to the world.
Epiphany is the celebration of the Magi following the star to worship Jesus…The Gentiles receiving the Gift of the King of Kings and experiencing His Love. What things help you experience the love of Jesus?
Read the passage and use the questions below to journal from or create a collage or drawing as a response to this passage. Read the passage aloud two or three times and listen for what the Holy Spirit has to say to you today. Read the passage from another translation of the Bible to get a fresh perspective, like from The Message. You might even get a friend or family member to read it aloud to you and allow yourself to just listen. What is God ‘s gift to you in this passage today? What do you hear, see, notice that you might not have noticed before?
Matthew 2 : 1-12 NIV The Magi Visit the Messiah
2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 “‘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 shepherd my people Israel.’[b]”
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 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, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
Things to consider while journaling:
- What things are keeping you “stuck in the palace this year”? What things are keeping you from worshiping Jesus? Fears, frustrations, busyness, family issues, job? Talk to God about this.
- Consider what gifts you want to give to Jesus …What is Jesus asking you to give back to Him that maybe you’ve been holding on to lately?
- The Magi left their families and friends and followed a star. They left all things familiar and traveled far in order to find the King of Kings…what is it like on your journey to find the King of Kings? Take some time and talk to God about where you are on your journey and where you want to be in the coming weeks.
- The journey for the magi began over many months. It took time and dedication to make the journey. It didn’t always make sense and there were lots of surprises on the way. What surprises have you found on your journey in the last few weeks, months? How do you feel about preparing ahead of time? How do you need to prepare for the journey into 2018?
- The Magi were led by a star at night. In the day time they didn’t have that star. So they followed in the dark, received direction while everyone else was asleep. Have you ever felt like, or do you feel like you are following in the dark? What kind of guidance would you like, or do you need in 2018? Talk to Jesus about this.
- Take some time today, this weekend, and in the days ahead to consider how you want to make Jesus known in your everyday life. How can you bring the light and love of Jesus to your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers? What are some tangible, practical ways to show God’s love and shine God’s light? Ask Jesus to show you.
We pray this prayer at the end of our thinplaceNASHVILLE gatherings each week. May it help you on your journey in 2018.
Give us grace today to love as you love. Help us to love with extravagance..
Give us hope today for ourselves and others.
Heal our hurts and our hearts today
So we can serve and help those around us.
Help us to know that you are enough.
And help us live today and everyday in thankfulness
For all you’ve done and for all you bless us with. In the Name of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit AMEN