Readings: Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12
We bought ours at the little factory where they are still made. They are still put together by hand, glued if they are the paper ones, by 6 or 7 people there at the factory.
The simple sale and distribution of a Christmastime decoration, originally an Epiphany decoration and likely a geometry project for schoolchildren, continues to show forth, or manifest, the light of Christ around the world.
That star made known the one to whom wise men of the east would come, worship, and bring gifts. Their gifts of Gold, frankincense, and myrrh made known that this child is King, God, Anointed One, and foreshadowed his crucifixion and burial.
Gold- The wise men honor him as a king with their gift of gold
Frankincense- a necessary part of worship at the time. With the gift of Frankincense, the magi honor the baby Jesus as divine.
Myrrh- another perfume. Often it was used to anoint bodies as part of getting them ready to be buried. Another use was in the high priest’s anointing oil. Jesus the Christ—or “anointed one”—was recognized as such by the magi and at the same time we see a foreshadowing of his crucifixion and burial.
The birth of the Christ Child was a cosmic, global event. A new star appearing in the sky; People from the East, from the other side of the world, coming to pay him homage. But the most amazing thing is that this one—Christ, God, King—comes to you and me as friend and as neighbor.
He comes, claiming you in baptism. Here he calls you “beloved,” reminds you that you are a child of God, forgives whatever you might get yourself into, and promises his presence with you unyieldingly—in this life, and in the life to come.
He comes, feeding you with his Word. Together we hear him, God’s Word, read and proclaimed. And together we are fed by him at his table. His body and blood—his very self—he gives us nourishment, as a reminder of his presence, and a means of forgiveness and renewal.
In baptism and at the table he claims us and reassures us he will never leave. He gives us strength to face each day and freedom from all that would get in our way of seeing him, of serving him, of being a light which shines forth his presence.
Paul wrote to the Ephesians that he has become a servant of the gospel so that through the church the world would know the wisdom of God, the word made flesh, the one whom we follow: Jesus Christ.
We, too, are servants of that gospel. Jesus Christ is our source of Grace and Forgiveness. He is our source of Light and life, our strength to be his shining stars and make the world a better place, to bring his love to our neighbors.
Like the Moravian star, each of you is a little light which points to the one true light—Jesus Christ in whom you are baptized, who has saved you, who came as one like you and who knows and loves you beyond what any of us can imagine. Walk as a child of the light, let Christ shine in your hearts.