Journeys by Jo Kelly-Moore
Recently announced as the new Dean of St Albans
A treasure at the heart of Christmas for me each year has always been unpacking the nativity sets and setting them out, both at home and in church. The question always comes: where will we put the Wise Men? How far away should they be from the crib scene so that on this wonderful Feast of the Epiphany they get their star turn bringing their gifts to worship the Christ-child?
When our children were young the nativity sets in our house could also end up mixed up with any number of characters from Woody and Buzz to Batman entering the scene, and we would do our best not to let the Wise Men get to the manger too soon! I have always felt a bit sorry for them, too: following the star they arrive at the party just as we are packing them all up for another year!
Reading: Matthew 2:9-12
When they had heard the king, the wise men set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
In the story of Jesus' birth, the Magi are a wonderful 'exclamation mark' proclaiming that the light of Christ has come into the world. In following the star, they bring their lives and their gifts both to proclaim the arrival of God’s Son and to worship him. As their gifts tell us something of Jesus' own life journey that was to come, so Matthew's Gospel records the Magi journeying on from Bethlehem still guided by God.
While our nativity sets are soon put away for another year, the Feast of Epiphany reminds us that the truth of Christmas never ends and that Jesus journeys on with each of us as well. He invites us to know the light of his love, joy, peace and hope guiding our way. And he invites us in turn to be bearers of his light in the world.
Where do you need to know the light of Christ's love shining into the journey of your life right now? In prayer invite Jesus to journey with you.
How can you use your gifts to bring the light of Christ's love to someone else's journey this week?
We three kings of Orient are