Happy New Year 2019. How the old one ran away! Where did all the days go! Came January, and before we knew it, here we are in a new year, 12 months gone. Condolences to all who experienced loss of any kind in the past year. May the Lord of Heaven comfort your souls.
Christmas has come and gone. But the mystery of the baby in the manger remains. He is very God, come to live among us and ultimately to suffer for our wrong doing. We wronged Him, and yet he loved us still, and loves us forever. God becoming a human being is a big deal.
He was hunted down right from birth and had to be hurried by stealth to another country, over rough terrain of road, to save Him from the powers that were. The king ordered the murder of all infants two years and under. It is not the case that thousands nor even hundreds of infants were killed on that occasion. Bethlehem was a small town with a small population, so perhaps 20 or less babes lost their lives. But that small number does not diminish the horror of the action. It just highlights what greed and heartlessness toward others is capable of doing.
Then on January 6, this year’s Epiphany Sunday, the Church universal commemorates and celebrates the coming of wise men from the East to see baby Jesus. Tradition puts their number at three. They were important personalities of high renown in their community, learned in the stars. They were the first non-Jews to set their eyes on the God-Man. This was a testimony to the fact that the newly born baby was for the whole world, not just the Jews. The Epiphany season is the season of wonder at the manifestation of the Messiah to all races and colors and tribes of the world.
As Paul tells us in Ephesians 2: “It was only yesterday that you outsiders to God’s ways [that is, non-Jews] had no idea of any of this, didn’t know the first thing about the way God works, hadn’t the faintest idea of Christ. You knew nothing of that rich history of God’s covenants and promises in Israel, hadn’t a clue about what God was doing in the world at large. Now because of Christ…you who were once out of it altogether are in on everything (MSG).”
Let us all embrace the manifested King of Glory. Again, Happy New Year.
The Rev. Edward Kironde, Interim Rector