“ … in Galilee where so many Gentiles live,
the people who sat in darkness
have seen a great light.
And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow,
a light has shined.”
Matthew 4:15-16 NLT
On January 6th, Christians (especially in the Eastern church) celebrate the feast of the Epiphany. It’s the day on the church calendar that “commemorates the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child and the revelation of God the Son as a human being.”
As we have seen in the previous post, the Wise Men ( Magi ) were Gentiles who came from afar following a star …
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.
”… they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
Matthew 2:1-2,11-12 ESV
Those Wise Men, those star-gazers (a.k.a. astrologers) sure did get a humdinger of a star! It was a special star leading the way to a King, but not just any king. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords! So this star pointed to the Presence of deity, an “epiphany”, a revelation.
Jesus Himself is the manifestation of deity in human form. He said of Himself,
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 ESV
But guess what? He also said of us believers,
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Mathew 5:14-16 NIV
That means we are like the star that led the Magi to Christ … or we can be. We can, in our very person, be the light that points another to the King. You and I have the King of Kings living within us. But as always it is our choice whether we allow the King to live through us and manifest His presence to seeking hearts who are walking in darkness all around us.
Author Tim Chester, in his lovely Advent devotional on Philippians 2 The One True Gift, caught my attention when he pointed out from Scripture one way that God says we can shine like stars:
Do everything without grumbling or arguing,
so that you may become blameless and pure,
“children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”
Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky
as you hold firmly to the word of life.
Philippians 2:15-16 NIV
Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!
Not grumbling, not arguing … not complaining, not being a “drama queen,” but yielding to the indwelling Christ to live His light of life in and through me in the situation at hand. Then I will shine like a star who points to the King of my life Who is the King of the world.
How about you, my sister? My brother?
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay
to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not in despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed.
We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake,
so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.
So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
2 Corinthians 4:6-12 NIV