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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Always, always the light is there

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Our Scripture for Sunday takes a look at the Magi, the three kings, Balthasar, Melchior, Caspar and why they have made this journey. Even as an infant, Jesus inspires both worship and hostility. {{more: continue …}}
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These responses are repeated throughout the story.
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In worship – The magi represent the first of many characters to worship Jesus in Matthew. They show a type of devotion shown only to God (Matthew 4:11). It is the type of worship that lets us know that Jesus is the one in whom God is present.
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In hostility – this story represents and predicts the opposition that will be shown to Jesus by the powerful people of his day. The religious leaders of Israel are used work with a political ruler who wants to destroy Jesus. Later in Matthew, this situation will be reversed. Pilate will act on behalf of religious leaders who have decided that Jesus must die.
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In this passage the kings are Jesus and Herod. Herod is a tyrant who lords over those he rules rather than serving them. He is not a ruler who “shepherds” God’s people. In contrast, the infant king Jesus is helpless and vulnerable, a ruler whose power is hidden in his humility. The wise men in Matthew 2 are the chief priests and the scribes who function as Herod’s key advisors. They are educated in the scripture, and they possess academic knowledge that both the magi and Herod lack. But it doesn’t do them a bit of good. They become involved in a plot to kill Jesus instead of being led to their Messiah.
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The magi are not wise men or kings, they are servants. If the magi are not kings or wise men, what are they? The magi are persons who do as they are instructed. They do not seek honor for themselves, and they gladly humble themselves, kneeling even before a woman and a child. They clearly fit the image of servants better than that of kings.
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The central message of this text answers the question, whom does God favor? We know that God does not favor kings or wise men, but the magi who embody qualities the qualities of servant.?
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In these lessons we see the manifestation of God to people outside the religious community. In Isaiah we are reminded that the community is called to be a light to the nations. Our observance of Epiphany is not to be a triumphal occasion for those who have seen the light to celebrate their privileged status. The lessons for this day encourage humble admission that God’s glory may be manifested where we least expect it. Many times, God’s people become light for others (Isa. 60:3; Eph. 3:10). Always, always the light is there, each and every day, as God mysteriously, graciously and defiantly breaks into human lives.

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THANK BE TO GOD!
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“I don’t know how, but I know WHO!”
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See you on Sunday!

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Peace,

Pastor Nelda

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