Reflections: January 6, 2021
The Epiphany of Our Lord
By William K. Stottlemyer
"Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." (Matthew 2:2)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Wise Men had been searching the heavens for years. Night after night they looked to the sky, watching and waiting for the sign. By faith they knew that in the great expanse of the night a light to lighten the Gentiles would appear. The great Morning Star would come into the world in order to bring the light of God's eternal truth to men. Finally it appeared. The Savior was born. These men arose, leaving houses and families, and followed the star over a great distance to worship the King of the Jews.
Even to this very day, God's light continues to be revealed by the power of the Holy Spirit. It has appeared in your life through Baptism, and it continues to shine forth through preaching, teaching, and the gifts given to you in Absolution and the Lord's Supper. This light of God reveals all you need to know about who you are.
In the revealed light of God's Holy Word, we clearly see our sins. It shows you all the times you have broken God's Law, and the wickedness and selfishness that live in your life. Once this comes to light, the Holy Spirit helps you to confess your sin to God and to one another. Then, by that same light, you are able to see the great gift your King Jesus Christ purchased for you by His death on the Cross. By His blood, your sins are forgiven. Through His sacrifice given for you, God's wrath is appeased. Jesus' blood covers your sin and gives to you His righteousness.
You are now seen in a new light by your heavenly Father, for in Christ you are a new creation, holy and blameless. Now you are able to shine forth in this world with the love of God. This great light will be with you all the days of your life. By God's grace you will remain in it until your Savior comes again to bring you into the eternal light of heaven, a light that will never grow dim. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O God, by the leading of a star You made known Your only-begotten Son to the Gentiles. Lead us, who know You by faith, to enjoy in heaven the fullness of Your divine presence; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the Epiphany of Our Lord)
-Rev. William K. Stottlemyer is the pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hancock, MD.
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