Reflections: The Epiphany of Our Lord

Today’s Reading: Matthew 2:1-12

Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 66:1-20; Luke 3:21-38

When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary, his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:10-11)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. If you’ve ever been on a long trip, you’ve asked the question, “Are we there yet?”  The anticipation of finishing the trip and stretching your legs makes you really excited when you realize that you are almost to the destination.  When you see the final highway exit sign or when you hear the pilot lowering the landing gear, you get excited.  The Magi on their way to see the Messiah were excited when the star they had been following stopped.  They rejoiced!  But they hadn’t even gotten to their destination yet. They still had to finish the last little bit of their journey and meet the Christ-Child.

The journey of God’s people through the Old Testament was also drawing nearer and nearer to its fulfillment.  There is a reason for joy as that star stopped.  All the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament were about to meet their fulfillment.  The Magi aren’t the only ones who should have excitement.  You should be filled with joy too because Jesus is about to be seen by people that He has come to save.

It’s striking that Jesus comes to save these star-gazing Gentiles.  Their very livelihood centered on telling the future by reading the stars, a breaking of God’s second commandment.  No matter their sin, Jesus came for them.  Not only was He born, not only was a star set in the sky so they would come see Him, but He also took up His cross to suffer and die for these non-Jewish sinners.  For you, a sinner, it is right for you to be filled with joy.  Christ the Lord has been born for you, and He reveals Himself to you.  You don’t see Him in a house or cradled in Mary’s arms, but you see Him in the words of Scripture and in sermons preached to your ears, you see Him in the waters of Holy Baptism, and you see His body and blood given for you at Holy Communion.  Rejoice with the Magi as you see the same Jesus! 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.

-Pastor Peter W. Ill is Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, Millstadt, Illinois.


Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.