Tag Archives: Epiphany

25 December – Gifts for Jesus

Happy Christmas!

As you share gifts today and celebrate, remember the gifts brought by the wise men, and their meaning; gold for a king, incense for God, and myrrh for the healing that would be brought through Jesus’ suffering yet to come.

What will you bring to Jesus as a gift this Christmas? How will you know and serve him more fully as we travel together into the future with him?

May the peace of Christ be with you and those you love this Christmas.

 

The animations in this series are by Jon Birch, and used by permission, but please don’t download them or post them elsewhere, as the copyright doesn’t allow that. Find out more at http://proost.co.uk/altadvent.

19 December – A new star in the sky

In the city at night we only see a few of the stars. In ancient times, or now in deep countryside, there’s far more to see. We don’t have to give specific meanings to particular stars or planets to be affected by the beauty of stars in a clear, dark sky. They remind us of the majesty of Creation – and the greater majesty of the one who created it.

Would your journey to meet Jesus be richer for that sense of awe? Maybe the wise men were ready to move because they knew their place in the universe, and so were ready to act when they saw that the universe was changing around them!

Why not try this Christmas or New Year to head somewhere dark on a night with few clouds, and just absorb the brilliant glory of the night sky?

 

The animations in this series are by Jon Birch, and used by permission, but please don’t download them or post them elsewhere, as the copyright doesn’t allow that. Find out more at http://proost.co.uk/altadvent.

 

Blogging the Bible 196 – Isaiah 60-66 -We three kings?

In chapter 60 we seem to leap ahead from Christmas to Epiphany, with the mention of gold, frankincense and kings – presumably the inspiration for the coronation of the magi in popular tradition.

Here, though, it’s more about the submission of the nations to the LORD than it is about long journeys in devout worship. Isaiah concludes with the vision of the vindication of Israel as a side-effect of the glorification of the LORD – justice and peace will be established, but it seems that they will come by force.

It’s in this setting that we get Isaiah 61:1-3, which Jesus quoted (Lue 4) to set out his mission. Again, reading it in context makes more sense of the anger of his hearers when he stopped part way through – just before the proclamation of old news for the oppressed turns to the day of vengeance of our God.

Jesus brings in the kingdom without the slaughter of nations. He reinterprets the old prophecies and fulfils them – bringing peace by a life of peace, and righteousness through a life without sin, not by a sword.

Perhaps that’s why he was worthy of the journey, the gifts and the worship of the Magi.