Today we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord. Tomorrow, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord officially closes out the Christmas season. Epiphany recalls the coming of the Magi to Bethlehem to honor the newborn King of the Jews. It also celebrates the fact that the Child has come, not just to redeem the Jewish people, but also the people of the whole world.
The light of the Christmas star shone out and was seen as far away as Persia (modern day Iran), which is where most scholars believe the Magi came from. These were astrologers, who probably were members of the Zoroastrian faith. They saw a new star in the sky and understood that to be the announcement of a new King of the Jews. Why the Jews and not some other nation, I have no idea. But they chose to follow that star. Kings are born every day, somewhere in the world. There were many small nation-states, especially at that time, and each had a king. I always wonder why they cared about this one, since they were not Jews themselves. But they did. So, they set out.
The Star of Bethlehem, shining its light out into the world, signifies that this Child is born to be king of all the world, and not just the King of the Jews. The first people to respond to the birth of Jesus were the shepherds in the hills of Bethlehem, but the second were Gentiles.
We, who are Gentiles, (anyone who is not Jewish) must rejoice on this day, for it is our salvation that is being announced. We, too, have received the light of Christ, Who has scattered the darkness of our minds and our souls.
On this day we pray that the light of Christ will also fill the minds and hearts of all people, so that they can come to know Him, who is their Lord and Savior.
–Fr. Mike Comer