The Rev’d Bev Diet
Readings: Isaiah 60: 1-6, Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14, Ephesians 3: 1-12, Matthew 2: 1 – 12
January 5 ~ A reading from Isaiah
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms.
Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord
Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church
Thanks be to God Isaiah 60: 1-6
Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to a king’s son.
May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy,
and crush the oppressor.
May he live while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth.
In his days may righteousness flourish
and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute,
may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts.
May all kings fall down before him,
all nations give him service.
For he delivers the needy when they call,
the poor and those who have no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
and precious is their blood in his sight.
January 5 2nd reading
A reading from Ephesians
This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given to me for you, and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that is, the Gentiles have become fellow-heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by the working of his power. Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him.
Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church
Thanks be to God Ephesians 3:1-12
The Gospel according to Matthew 2: 1 – 12
The Visit of the Wise Men
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
“And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.” ’
Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
Epiphany of our Lord
January 5, 2020
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight our Lord and Redeemer.
We have a variety of people in our congregation but do we have any astronomers anyone interested in astronomy so you won’t be too judgmental about what I say related to the star that the wise men followed.
The star is mentioned several times. There is a debate still today, whether it was a super nova when a star violently exploded and gave enormous of light for a few weeks or months. The magi followed the light the exploding star until suggested that Halley’s comet could have passed and the rays exploded and gave off enormous amounts of light for a few weeks or a few months. The magi followed the light of the exploding star until someone suggested that Halley’s comet could have passed and the rings followed that moving comet. Another suggestion was a conjunction of joining Jupiter and Saturn align in the zodiac constellation of Jesus. There were many explanations and it caused much attention. I am sure there are more explanations today.
It caused attention to King Herod who called together the priests and scribes telling
them, to find the place where the child is. The important aspect is what does the star reveal. We need to understand that the child is the Messiah.
Bethlehem is established as the geographical site of the Messiah’s coming. I won’t go through this history and politics of this as most of us want dinner. So we can look at what is revealed that helps us see the child as the Messiah. The Magi came to worship him, Herod to kill him. The Magi do not immediately present their gift of gold, frankincense and myrrh but an act of worship. Joseph and the Wise Men were both warned in a dream to take another way home. We must seek a different route. Our new route is the way of the child, the way of peace, the way of the cross, the way of the light and the way of the resurrection. It is time for us to be God’s epiphanies and light up the world. Amen.