Isaiah 60:1-6, Psalm 72, Ephesians 1:3-14, Matthew 2:2-12
While our church year technically begins with the Advent season, Epiphany has always struck me as a time of new beginnings and fresh starts. Perhaps this is in part because of its close proximity to the New Year in the Gregorian calendar. But liturgically, Epiphany has the feeling of a beginning of a journey. A star had risen in the sky and a band of men from the east began an unknown voyage to discover its source. They probably had no idea how long it would take them to get there. They didn’t know what friends or foes they would meet along the way. In reality, they didn’t even know who they were looking for. They set out anyways.
In many ways, our journey of Christian faith is like that of the wise men. In each of our lives, there has been a moment, however small, however insignificant, that has led us to begin this journey. It may have been words of a Sunday school teacher that first caused you to follow Christ for yourself, like the faint glimmer of a falling star. Or perhaps it was a dramatic moment of hitting rock-bottom and having no where to turn but to Christ, like the glimmer of light calling out from behind an eclipse. Perhaps the call to follow has always been there in your life, from the very earliest memory, much like the multitude of stars in the night sky. We may not be able to name the moment or recite the date and time, but at some point in our lives, we began to take steps toward Christ.
Inevitably, there are times in our lives where we have strayed from that path, when we have let the cares of the world or the demands of family or job lead us in other directions. But just like the New Year brings with it a time for making resolutions, the season of Epiphany is a reminder of who we have promised to follow. In the words of Isaiah, “Arise, shine; for your light has come!” The path is still there, the light of Christ still beckons, and now is as good a time as any to begin the journey again.