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Matthew
2:1-12
 
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 
saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him. When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: "'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.'" Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him." After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
 (ESV)

Search the Scriptures

The Epiphany of our Lord

6 January 2016

God's epiphany occurs through God's self revelation in the Word. Certainly, the Magi from the east were led by the star, but ultimately only the Word of God could reveal the presence of the eternal Word made flesh. So when Herod inquired of the chief priests and scribes where the Messiah was to be born, the answer was given from Scripture. If we are to find the Messiah, we too must search the Scripture.

 

Martin Luther

"And assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, [Herod] inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, 'In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: "And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah: for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel"' (Mt 2:4-6).
 
"Here we ask why Christ did not lead these magi up to Bethlehem with the star, but instead permitted his birth, which was now known, to be searched for in Scripture. He did this to teach us to cling to Scripture and not to follow our own presumptuous ideas or any human teaching. For it was not his desire to give us his Scripture in vain. It is in Scripture and nowhere else, that he permits himself to be found. He who despises Scripture and sets it aside, will never find him. We heard earlier that the angel gave a sign to the shepherds (Lk 2:12); but to Mary or Joseph or to any other man, however pious they may have been, he gave no sign except the swaddling clothes in which he was wrapped, and the cradle into which he was laid, that is, the Scripture of the prophets and the law. In these he is enclosed, they possess him, they speak of him alone and witness to him and are his sure sign, as he says Himself, 'Search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me' (Jn 5:39).  Likewise Paul, in Romans 3: 'The righteousness of Christ has been manifested through the law and the prophets' (Rm 3:21). Again, we heard above of Simeon and Anna that they signify the Scriptures which point to Christ and carry him in their arms. And in Luke 16: Abraham did not grant the rich man in hell his wish that Lazarus should be sent to his brethren; instead, he pointed them to the Scriptures and said: 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead' (Lk 16:29-31)."

 Martin Luther, Sermon on the Gospel for Epiphany
 
Collect for the Epiphany of our Lord
O God, by the leading of a star You once made known to all nations Your only-begotten Son; now lead us, who know You by faith, to know in heaven the fullness of your divine goodness; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
 
For all those who will attend Epiphany services this day, that they might see Christ in the Word of God
 
For all those suffering from unseasonable weather, that God would keep them safe

For all those suffering from the burden of depression, that they might be rescued from its darkness
Art: AERTSEN, Pieter  Adoration of the Magi (c. 1560)

 

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