Matthew 2: 1-12
On this day of Epiphany, Christians often read the story of the visiting Magi from Matthew’s Gospel. We are familiar with the story. Foreign astrologers from outside of the Jewish faith who found the Christ child – while others, insiders, missed him. There’s a lesson in that, perhaps for another day.
Those magi, travelled long and hard to meet the baby, the one they called “The King of the Jews” and they didn’t journey with empty hands. No, they carried with them gifts of tremendous value. Gifts like gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gifts that could have meant financial stability or security for those who held them, gifts that would have been easy enough to leave behind. No one expected them to bring such a generous offering… they didn’t write it on their pledge card before showing up. Theirs were gifts of selfless generosity, gifts of meaning, gifts that would change everything for the receiver and the giver.
Monday morning I had the joy of bearing witness to the activities of modern-day magi. Faithful travelers bearing the gifts of solidarity, educational support, and cloth masks. It’s hard to imagine three more valuable gifts in times such as these, when people struggle for employment, opportunity, and (dare I say) survival.
Perhaps the most beautiful thing on display this week of Epiphany, is the same breathtaking truth we have come to know about Christmas. It might be anchored on one day each year, be it December 25 (Christmas) or January 6 (Epiphany), but the spirit of Christmas and the spirit of Epiphany are ours to embody every day and in every season. Christ can be born in us, around us, and among us whether it is June 14th or December 25th. In the same way, we can bear gifts – often of great value – in January or in August. The date matters so much less than the Spirit which drives us outward, beyond ourselves and into the world with life-saving gifts, gifts that mean a little something to us, but change everything for someone else.
Thank you, Greystone, for being a giving people. Thank you for raising funds, sewing cloth, and buying masks so that we could continue our on-going, gift-giving partnership with our neighbors at Cedar Point. And thank you to the Missions Committee, to Refugee Hope Partners, and to you for embracing the spirit of Epiphany, embodying the journey of the Magi, and leading us all on journeys of giving.May God continue to open our eyes, our hearts, our pockets, and our hands to stars which guide us to the manger over and over again.