Last week we wrote of the coming season of Epiphany. Epiphany is the season from Jan. 7 through the day before Ash Wednesday. It may include anywhere from four to nine Sundays, depending on the date of Easter. Most denominations have a calendar of specific dates and times that people of the faith celebrate the important teachings and events within the Church Year. Epiphany is a time of joy, hope and the revelation of the Christ, Jesus the Messiah, the promised one of God.The word “epiphany” itself means manifestation or revelation. I always like to go beyond the words but this time I think we will go deeper. I am going to add a few verses to what we read last week in Matthew 2:1-12, this week add four more to those….Matthew 2:1-16.
Let’s spend some time this week with the Three wise Men, Magi, or Three Kings who travel from the East to visit Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. First who were they? Now I must be careful here to inform you that this account is one of many. But is very much similar to the others. I often go to biblestudytools.com, they are accurate and knowledgeable. Below I insert their information:
- Gaspar (or Caspar) wears a green cloak and a gold crown with green jewels. He is the King of Sheba. Gaspar represents the Frankincense brought to Jesus.
- Melchior has long white hair and a white beard and wears a gold cloak. He is the King of Arabia. Melchior represents the Gold brought to Jesus.
- Balthazar has a black beard and wears a purple cloak. He is the King of Tarse and Egypt. Balthazar represents the gift of Myrrh that was brought to Jesus.
About those gifts…
- Gold: is affiliated with Kings, and Christians believe that Jesus is the King of Kings.
- Frankincense: is used in liturgical worship in traditional Churches and represented that people would worship and praise Jesus.
- Myrrh: is a fragrance that is embedded on dead bodies to make them smell pleasant and represented that Jesus would endure persecution resulting in his death.
For your consideration and just as a thought to ponder, maybe even encourage you to read more I share the following with you.There are many in the theological and historical communities that hold with the theory that it was some time after the night of the birth of Christ that the The Three Wise Men found him in Bethlehem in a modest house. Some accounts say it was a room that Joseph obtained elsewhere after the crowds had gotten smaller. We do know that Joseph being from this area there is a good chance he might of had some relatives close by. So where does this leave us? Right where we need to be… Jesus was born and swaddled in cloths, and laid in a manger in Bethlehem. He is the Son of God, the Promised Messiah and as the Wise Men said, The King of the Jews. The Wise Men did bring him gifts and they did follow that star. We can go beyond the words, dig deeper and search the probabilities but I leave you this week with this thought.
Our faith makes us strong and faith cannot be built on probabilities. We must pray and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, establish a relationship with God and live as Christ has instructed us to live. Don’t sweat the details… Long before the Star Isaiah spoke of these things to come. I invite you to read those verses…Isaiah 43:18-21. Christianity and faith are a constantly a time of preparing for the Kingdom to come into its promised state. Here at Epiphany the church prepares to welcome the Son of God, incarnate among us and our long awaited salvation.
Life is Good