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Epiphany 2024

When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

Matthew 2:10-12 (ESV)

The great Epiphany of our Lord is full of wonder, anticipation, and revelation. As the people of God have waded through the darkest of times in the season of Advent, with eyes fixed on the promise of a coming messiah, we now proclaim, “Joy to the world the Lord has come.” In the quest stillness of a manger, born into our world of darkness and chaos, is CHRIST, THE LORD!

The Epiphany of our Lord and the time after is a glorious moment for the world to bask in the glow of the light that is Christ who shines so brightly, bringing all the proclaimed promises of peace, hope, joy and love. This light shines for all people in all corners of the world.

In Matthew’s Gospel, we hear how the light of Christ beckoned kings from afar, the Magi, who were scanning the skies for signs of hope. Having seen Christ’s natal star, they left their homes to follow the light to pay homage to the new king. We know little of their story, even as tradition seeks to fill in some of the gaps. What we do know from God’s Word is that they followed the star for the purpose of finding the Christ Child and upon meeting Jesus, they showered him with gold, frankincense and myrrh; royal gifts of life, prosperity and even possibly for anointing in times of death.

What we also know is that these kings worshiped Jesus and upon meeting Him, they had been warned not to return to Herod so “they left for their own country by another road,” or as other translations say, “by another way.”

The power of the Christ child changes the trajectory of people’s lives with a humble meeting in a stable in Bethlehem. This is the message and pattern of Jesus’ life, ministry, death and resurrection: He changes lives by shining bright light of truth in the midst of darkness.

The Epiphany revelation remains for us today as we continue to encounter the true presence of Christ in water and Word and in bread and wine. Jesus continues to bring hope to our weary bodies, our anxious minds and our fumbling hands through forgiveness, life and salvation that Jesus has won for us in His victory over the world. We encounter peace in the humbleness of that manger, in the roadside encounters with the sick and oppressed and in His crucifixion, death and resurrection. In Christ, we also take hold of eternal life, as we are bound to Him in baptism with a promise of victory over death and the grave with the joyful hope of a restored world where there is no more pain, sorrow, sickness or death.

The star of Christ, continues to shine brightly through the power of the Holy Spirit of God always among us, calling all people to follow the star with expectant hope that will “guide us to thy perfect light!”

In the cold days ahead, may the bright, warmth of God’s love in Christ Jesus, comfort our very hearts and souls with proclaimed promises of Immanuel, God with us. May Christ continue to call us to faith and hope in Him, so that with eyes open we see in darkness the light “that sends us home by another way,” and changes our lives for eternity. Amen.

Pastor Vetrano

LWML Atlantic District Pastoral Counselor

The Life Lutheran Church, Old Westbury

Nassau Zone


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