the epiphany of our lord
the PRAYER. . .
O God, on this day you revealed your Son to the nations by the leading of a star. Lead us now by faith to know your presence in our lives, and bring us at last to the full vision of your glory, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
the READING. . .
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
the DEVOTION. . .
The story’s full of deception and intrigue. Herod hears a king’s been born. A king who’s a threat to Herod’s power. And everyone knows Herod’s not the kind of king to take such a threat lightly. So, he sends the magi – unknowingly – on a mission. Find the upstart, let Herod know who he is, where he is, and Herod will take it from there (wink, wink). The magi go. But at the end of the story, because of a dream, they return home “by another road.”
But even if there was no dream, I can’t imagine that the magi would’ve gone home the same way they’d come. After all, that’s not how faith works. Once we’ve seen the child, once we’ve knelt before the king,” everything changes! It’s all different! Nothing’s, ever, the same, again! Including the road on which we travel! Maybe especially the road on which we travel! Paths as yet untrodden! The road that leads to life! The one less traveled by! It’s not the dream that changes it all. It’s the child!
Bob Barndt, pastor