January 5, 2014 by lellielieb
GOD, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only-begotten Son to the Gentiles
I was reminded this morning of one of the reasons I have loved using the Book of Common Prayer as a devotional guide. It continually points out things I have never noticed, things no one ever pointed out to me, or things I somehow missed along the way. Tomorrow is Epiphany, January 6, the day we celebrate the coming of the Magi. This I have known for a while, but it never struck me until this morning that the star of Christmas is a symbol of changing times, a sign that God was doing something BIGGER than His people expected. He wasn’t just sending a Messiah for the Jews, He was sending a Saviour for the world.
My husband and I are collecting a nativity set. I have always wanted to do this and we began last year with the Holy Family. This year we added shepherds and a camel. Because we had more pieces this year, we needed to change the location of our display. We discussed various places, but settled on the top of a shelf that hangs over our television. We got the idea of hanging a star over it all. This required several trips to various stores before we were satisfied. The star had to be just right.
Next year we will add the Wise Men, and after this morning’s reading I am very excited about that purchase. I know the Christmas Story like the back of my hand; I can recite the story in Luke from memory and the other gospel accounts are almost as familiar, but this morning, with the above Collect in mind, I noticed things I never did before, or at least I saw them in a new light. (No pun intended.) Matthew 2:10 says, “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.” The Wise Men knew that the star meant that the King was for THEM. The King was for us. Unto US a child is born. The message of the angels to the shepherds is also the message of the star to the Wise Men.
Also included in the reading today was a glorious passage from Ephesians 3, “When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” Hallelujah! The Wise Men knew earlier what the Father revealed to Paul and the other apostles eventually. Jesus came for all of us!