Sunday, January 06, 2013

Blessed Epiphany!

O God, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; Mercifully grant that we, who know thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of thy glorious Godhead: through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thou hast made us for thyself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee.

Holy Jesus! every day
keep us in the narrow way;
and, when earthly things are past,
bring our ransomed souls at last
where they need no star to guide,
where no clouds thy glory hide.

I have, by the way, very little idea how the Magi knew what the star meant. In the novel Ben-Hur they receive extensive additional revelation, but we are in fact not told how they knew that the king of the Jews was born merely from the fact of seeing a new star in the heavens. Nor do we know exactly what the star was nor what it meant for them to follow it or for it to "rest over the place where the young child was." (Paul Maier has some interesting discussion of possible heavenly phenomena here.)

Certainly the Magi fit beautifully into the pattern of Hebrews 11. They believed in what was unseen based on the little that was actually seen. And because of that more was manifested to them.

A blessed feast of the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles.

(See also here and here.)

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