By L. Mackenzie
In churches around the world, people celebrate Epiphany, when magi came to Bethlehem to worship baby Jesus. Elaborate feasts, complete with king cakes, paper crowns, caroling, winter swimming, and house blessings mark this festival each year as the end of the Christmas season for many.
When we strip away all the traditions, the heart of the Epiphany story shares a future picture of God’s manifestation to the Gentile world through his Son Jesus. It’s the story of men being drawn toward a heavenly King.
“Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn” (Isaiah 60:3).
The magi had never heard Jesus speak or seen him perform a miracle. But something inside of them commanded they trek across swirling deserts, traverse rocky mountains, ford raging rivers, endure a bloodthirsty king, and battle whatever came their way in order to worship the Messiah.
Their eyes were fixed on that wondrous star in the western sky. They followed its light and found Jesus, the Savior of the world.
Can you imagine how many miles these men must have traveled to worship the One born King of the Jews? They weren’t even Jewish . . . they were Gentiles. It was (and still is) tradition in the East to bring gifts to princes. These men brought the most costly, valuable treasures from their native lands. Scripture says they brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They traveled far to bring lavish gifts and to be in his presence.
How far must you travel during Communion to find Jesus? No physical distance at all. Take the emblems and examine your heart. Truly consider the wonder of the cross.
What should you bring him? Confessions of sin and true, godly repentance. Accept the forgiveness Jesus freely gives you. Nothing is stopping you. Wise men came from across the world bearing presents, but with the Holy Spirit inside of us, we bask in his presence constantly!
How far did Jesus come to find you? He came across space and time to reveal himself to you. He came that you might have your own personal epiphany, the manifestation of Christ that you are about to take right now in the bread and the juice symbolizing his body and blood.
Leigh Mackenzie serves as ministry assistant at The Crossing, a multisite church located in three states across the Midwest, and is a writer who blogs at The Church Girl Writes: Jesus in Everything (leighmackenzie.com).