As many of you know, "epiphany" means manifestation. We celebrate God incarnate, the Word made flesh, made manifest to the Gentiles (i.e. to the rest of the world, beyond the Jewish community), in the persons of the mysterious Magi (wise men). The Magi come reading a star, indicating the birth of a king. Beyond their astrology, however, we can perhaps say that they come because they have been given a gift from Christ, before even seeing him: faith. They are given faith, not because of privilege, but because they are seekers. God likes seekers. God extends Himself to those who seek.
Faith enables us to discern mystery from above. With the eyes of the body, they see a fragile infant. With the eyes of faith, they see God. Only faith can bridge the apparent abyss between child and God. It is very much like our situation regarding the Eucharist, or Communion. Only faith can bridge the apparent abyss between bread and God. Thanks to faith, to the Magi Christ is made known. Thanks to faith, to us-as with the disciples on the road to Emmaus who initially do not recognize the risen Lord, Christ is "made known...in the breaking of the bread" (Luke 24:35).
If this is true, then we ought, as the prophet Isaiah tells us (first reading: Isaiah 60:1-6), to "Arise, shine; for our light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon us." Let us arise. We are friends of "Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him" (second reading: Ephesians 3:1-12).
Yours in Christ,
seeker with you
From the desk of the Rector