They saw the child Jesus with Mary his mother, and they knelt down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2: 11)
Epiphany is the name of the day on the Christian calendar when the church celebrates the visit of the Wise Men to worship Christ. It is January 6, but we celebrate it on the Sunday before the 6th each year. Did you know that Epiphany was celebrated in the church long before Christmas became an observance remembering and honoring the birth of Christ? Epiphany means Manifestation. It originally focused on the nativity, the incarnation, and baptism of Christ. January 6 is the end of the Christmas season of twelve days.
God chose to be manifested or shown through the birth of God’s son Jesus. As we begin a new year, we have the opportunity to begin anew, also. We can have a fresh start in our lives. We have the choice to bow down before the Lord and worship Him, or to do our own thing in the new year without thinking about how God views our actions. The wise men were filled with joy when they saw the Christ child, and then they worshiped Him, and then they offered their many gifts.
Worshiping God consistently and in a faith community is very important to our well-being as disciples of Jesus. Giving faithfully is also vital. Giving of our time, our talents, our selves, and our financial resources are all valued by God. The world is full of opportunities to serve God and to serve people. We are blessed by the many ways that we share ministry through this church and in our community. If God is giving you a new idea for reaching out, please feel free to share it with me or with our Lay Leader Charlotte Hemard. Our church council discusses new ministry ideas and helps to prepare and plan to carry them out. The ministry at Woldenberg has been going on for about 15 years now every month. That is faithful service! But God can do a new thing among us, too. So, if you have some talents to share, and want to explore something new, please speak up. Offer your gifts to the Lord and through your church.
The Wise Men were filled with joy when they found the Lord. We, too, experience joy and blessing when we share with others and serve the Lord together. I thank God for the loving and dedicated spirit that we have at the Algiers United Methodist Church. Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus as we begin this New Year’s journey.