The Pastor's Peace - January, 2010
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Has anyone seen three men named Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar? I've been trying to locate them, but I guess these wise guys are off somewhere getting into trouble. Don't they know that our Savior has been born? Don't they know that God has come to dwell among us? They weren't there when Jesus was born, and it's already been over a week. I hope when they do show up, they at least bring some gifts.

The three wise guys that I mention are, of course, the wise men, the Magi, the three kings with their gifts of frankincense, myrrh, and gold. We all know who these people are, but did you know that they were not there when Christ was born? They came later, maybe several months or more later. We celebrate their arrival on January 6th, also known as Epiphany. The word Epiphany comes from a Greek word, which means an "appearance" or "manifestation." In the Eastern church, this day is also used to celebrate the Baptism of Christ. In Hungary, for instance, January 6th is referred to as the Vizkereszt or "water cross", a reference to the Baptism of Jesus. What is interesting about this holiday, this "manifestation" of Christ, is that even though God was incarnate in Christ from birth, the true significance was not revealed until Epiphany.
This gradual realization is not only the story of the ministry and life of Jesus, but also a fitting way to think about our faith life as Christians. Often Christ comes into our lives, but the true impact, or manifestation of Christ in our lives, is not completely realized at first. The great civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. first became involved in the movement when he simply was a fill-in speaker at a meeting. Who knows why he decided to do it; my thought is that it was the Holy Spirit. He could never know at that time what that first step would lead to. Every great journey starts with one simple step.

This January as we celebrate Epiphany, Christ's manifestation, let us be aware of how Christ might be moving in our lives. What direction is God leading us? How can one simple act or decision lead to something greater than we could imagine? How can Christ become fully manifest in our lives? No matter how wise we think we are, we are all fools compared to God's wisdom. Give yourself over to God, follow that bright star in your life-you never know where it might lead.

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Brian