Daily Devotion Monday, January 6 – Day of Epiphany

Monday, January 6, 2014 – Day of Epiphany
Psalm 147; Isaiah 49:1-7; Revelation 21:22-27 and Matthew 12:14-21
Reading for this feast day; the Day of Epiphany – Isaiah 60:1-6 and Matthew 2:1-12

This being the Day of Epiphany, the day that we remember and recall how Jesus was the Lamb of God sent freely to Jew and Gentile, I invite you to hear portions of several texts that speak of God’s light coming to all.

Isaiah 49:1-7 – 6he says,
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to restore the survivors of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Revelation 21:22-27 – 22I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

Matthew 12:14-21 – 18“Here is my servant, whom I have chosen,
my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased. ….
21And in his name the Gentiles will hope.”

Yesterday’s worship service, that did not take place because of the snow and the cold, was built around the texts for Epiphany. The sermon was entitled; “Let God’s Light Shine! Let it Shine! Let it Shine!”

Isaiah 60:1-6 –  1   Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
2   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.
3   Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

Matthew 2:1-12 – 1In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2asking, “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.” 3When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
6   ‘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.’”

7Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8Then 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.” 9When 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. 10When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11On 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. 12And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Here’s some of what I was going to share yesterday in worship; first a really bad joke.

I once heard of this pastor who was on vacation following Christmas. He’d gone to see relatives in a small southern town.

He reported seeing the following.

In a small southern town there was a “Nativity Scene” that showed great skill and talent had gone into creating it. One small feature bothered me.

The three wise men were wearing firemen’s helmets.

Totally unable to come up with a reason or explanation, I left.

At a “Quik Stop” on the edge of town, I asked the lady behind the counter about the helmets.

She exploded into a rage, yelling at me,

“You stupid Yankees never do read the Bible!” I assured her that I did, but simply couldn’t recall anything about firemen in the Bible.

She jerked her Bible from behind the counter and ruffled through some pages, and finally jabbed her finger at a passage. Sticking it in my face she said “See, it says right here, the three wise man came from afar.”

I can hear the groans even now.

From that, I was going to move into reflecting on how we are to be God’s light unto the world this day, for his light still does shine upon us and is to shine through us.

One of the quotes/thoughts I was going to share was from a commentary I read last week.

 “We do not speak often enough about the power of theological imagination in the work of hope. Theological imagination is not frivolous fantasy. Rather, it is marked by the courage, the faith, and the wisdom to imagine and call forward the world God desires us to make – a world in which the light of God radiates through us as individuals and as a nation” (God’s people – the church).

On this day of Epiphany, let us arise and let God’s light shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Here’s some questions to ponder on this day of Epiphany.
How have you experienced God’s light shining upon you?
Whom do you know that reflects God’s light unto their family, their neighbors and the community in which they live?
How is God calling you to reflect his light unto others?

Blessed day of Epiphany. For those of us caught in the frigid cold of this winter, there is hope.

Psalm 147 –16 He gives snow like wool;
he scatters frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down hail like crumbs—
who can stand before his cold?
18 He sends out his word, and melts them;
he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.

Now here is a promise we can hold on to and trust in, God will send the fresh breath of springtime. Many like myself are hoping that will be soon.

God bless us and may we be God’s blessings unto others. Amen.

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