Thought for the Week

Epiphany – Caro Staton

In recent weeks we have passed through Advent, the invitation to hopeful waiting for Jesus to come…

We then moved into Christmas, which is the invitation to joyful celebration as Jesus comes into the world…

In contrast, this week is Epiphany, which is the invitation to step out into the world, searching for clues as to where Jesus may be found…

Epiphany is the day we remember the Magi, or Wise Men, who interpreted the significance of a new star in the night sky as heralding the birth of a new king, and journeyed out into the world to find the infant Jesus. When they found him, the Magi gave gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, which represent the treasures locked away in our hearts.

Gold is currency and power, which result in influence. We all have influence, from the moment of birth and Jesus calls us to use our influence for the good of others.

Frankincense is the articulation of hopes and dreams in the form of prayer. A recognition that there is more to life than we can handle alone, and Jesus calls us to partner with him to nurture both our hopes and dreams and those of others.

Myrrh is balm, and is a recognition that we all have sorrows, especially at this time. Jesus calls us to rally round, and to support each other in our sorrows.

These gifts of the Magi are the tools of prayer, of interceding before God on behalf of our neighbours, family and friends.

The days ahead are still challenging, with the fear of the new strain of virus, and renewed restrictions, but there is hope in the form of the new vaccines. Epiphany is our invitation to step out in 2021, into the unknown but challenging days that lie ahead, with our eyes and hearts open to ask; “Where is the one born to be king, born to free his people, born to bring in the Kingdom of life?”

Where do we find Jesus here and now, and how do we help those around us find him?

May the Christ child, born for us all, set free within us compassion for our family, friends and neighbours.

Amen

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