Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. ~ Mary Oliver
Today is the feast of the Epiphany on which we celebrate the coming of the Magi to see Jesus. Actually, this is the beginning of Jesus revealing himself to the Gentiles – us. The Bible doesn’t say that there were three men, nor does it say that they were kings. It doesn’t say they were not, either. Over the years, this tradition has developed in the church (I’m not going into this or I will definitely run out of space. You can google it if you are interested.).
The basic story is that some men, most likely astronomers, saw a star that they believed revealed to them the birth of this long awaited King who was foretold in the Hebrew Scriptures. So, they responded to the revelation of God in this star and followed it on a long journey in order to pay homage to him. These men, Matthew tells us, represent the Nations – the known world of the Gentiles. They probably were from Persia, Babylon or maybe Arabia. Perhaps, all three. Nevertheless, Light is spread to the Gentiles.
Who told this story, I wonder? Not many people were witness to this birth. There were shepherds. And there were Magi. Of course these men told King Herod what they were about but did not go back to tell him that they had found Jesus. Did they tell Mary and Joseph who were then warned in a dream to flee to Egypt for safety? Did Mary tell this story to Matthew? I am reminded that the story of Jesus spreads when we share it and tell what he has done in our lives that has made a difference. We are called to be witnesses.
“We who have seen the light of Christ are obliged, by the greatness of the grace that has been given us, to make known the presence of the Savior to the ends of the earth…not only by preaching the glad tidings of His coming; but above all by revealing Him in our lives…Every day of our mortal lives must be His manifestation, His divine Epiphany, in the world which He has created and redeemed.” ~ Thomas Merton
Every Saturday, I post a quote on Trinity’s Facebook page that coincides with an element of the Trinity Way of Life. For tomorrow, I have scheduled the element next in line, which is: “TELL THE STORY”, Element #8. We are to tell the story, not only of what is written about Jesus in the Bible, but also the story of what he has done in our own life that has made a difference. These stories help us when we may be doubting that Jesus cares about us – it gives us something to remember – but they give us a witness to the Light to share which might point the way to others who may have never heard the story of Jesus in this way before. And if they have, they may be having a doubting moment, too.
I have shared many of my stories with you in my writings and in person, before. I have been short of new stories, recently. My winter blues (Seasonal Affective Disorder) have hit rather hard this year. I find it hard to get going some days. I have my stories to hang on to when the days are rough. They may not always raise my spirits much at the moment, but they do give me hope. They remind me that Light always conquers the darkness and God always wins – even in those times when it looks as if he is not winning. It’s cold out and it has been dark and cloudy the past few days. Today, when I opened my curtains, on the coldest, coldest day in a very long time, (I mean, really, -37 degrees, or -44, whatever – what’s a few degrees among friends) the sun was shining and the sky was a lovely color of blue. The light had overcome darkness once again. Soon, I am sure, there will be another story of Jesus to share.
What story would you share, today? What has Jesus done in your life that has made a difference, lately? What story has given you hope? Maybe, someone around you is waiting to hear it – needs to hear it.
“It seems to me that if a little flower could speak, it would tell simply what God has done for it without trying to hide His blessings.” ~ St. Therese, the Little Flower