— Midweek Meditations:
thoughts, inspiration and encouragement
from ACF community members —
For me, the 6th of January is a very special day in the calendar of the church. Here in Germany it is traditionally called Three Kings Day but in the church calendar it is called Epiphany. Epiphany is what the wise men experienced after a long journey across the Middle East with a stop in Jerusalem to seek advice from Herod. Herod was the King of the Jews appointed by the Roman Senate. After the visit in Jerusalem they continued their journey to Bethlehem.
Can you imagine their surprise as to what they found in Bethlehem? All of the clues they were following pointed to a different result. Here were a group of wisemen well read in the different beliefs and religions in their part of the world. They were also trained in Astronomy and sought guidance in the stars. They were curious about the sudden occurrence of a bright star in the sky and the prophecies in the Hebrew holy books. They knew that normally such a star announced the birth of a very special person. They were curious enough to pack their bags, mount their camels and follow this phenomenon in the sky.
I can imagine they first searched out the best neighborhood or maybe a Hilton or a Four Seasons to find the special person they were seeking. After realizing what they were looking for was not there they continued their search to other parts of the city. Their searching led them to a stable where a young mother was caring for her newborn.
This is when the Epiphany occurs. Upon seeing the child they realize who this child is. It is one of the biggest Aha moments in the history of the world. In spite of the surroundings they were honored and humbled to meet not only the future King of the Jews but also the King of Kings. This baby was not just born for the salvation of Israel, but for all Mankind including themselves.
This epiphany moment can happen for all of us. We all can have these moments when a light suddenly shines in our thinking and we realize we have encountered Christ.
The wisemen are examples to us in how they were prepared and carried out their journey.
- The wisemen had a history of beliefs and were well read in them. For us that could be the scripture we read, the sermons we hear and the conversations with fellow Christians.
- The wisemen were willing to take a journey into unknown territory to find what they were seeking. For us this might mean attending a prayer meeting and praying out loud, participating in a Bible study and hearing others speak about a passage and having the courage to contribute, commit to reading the bible outside of a church setting, read a commentary or another type of book that talks about the Christian life. Often to experience an epiphany we need to leave our comfort zones.
- The wisemen were committed to their journey. We also need this commitment in seeking out Christ. Like the wisemen there will probably be distractions and detours, but we need to stay committed to our search.
This year I challenge all of us to be curious about our relationship with Christ. Let us ask questions as to what he means in each of our lives as individuals. When we remain open, various stars will appear in our lives that encourage our curiosity. When that star appears, follow it and you will have your own personal Aha/Epiphany Moment.