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Bishop Mathes’ Epiphany Message 2016

I’ve been told by writers that there are only two plots for every story. One is the stranger comes to town, or a person goes on a journey. The Epiphany story, the story of the magi, the wise men, really is both intertwined. They are people going on a journey. And they are, when they get to their destination, strangers coming to town.

Journeys are a part of our broader scriptural story. Abram becoming Abraham. One who leaves one land and journeys to another. The story of the Exodus is the story of a journey out of slavery into freedom. And the exile, the story of the people of Israel going into exile is a story of a deep spiritual journey. And then there are the wise men, the story of the journey.

I think at a deep, deep level, these very wise men journeying to find the king, Jesus, is really a metaphor for what it is like to be the church of Jesus. It brings into focus elements of what we say we believe. They say when two or three are gathered, Jesus will be found. And they are literally three, so they are two or three. They say that is in giving that we receive. They are the quintessential gift bearers. And what a holy sight they receive for the gifts that they bring. And we say at the core of our being that it is in dying that we find life. And their journey is not giving up, dying to one world and leaving that world and coming to a new world where Christ is found.

The season of Epiphany is one of coming to a greater and greater awareness of who Jesus is, the revelation of Jesus as Lord. It surely is a journey and those three elements coming together as two or three gathered with Jesus are a part of that becoming. In giving to receive. In dying to one life so that we can find another life. So pack up! Let’s let the journey begin. It’s Epiphany. Come, let us adore him.

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