Star of Wonder, star of night…
Guide us to thy Perfect Light
Today we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord.
The word itself comes from the Greek; epiphaneia meaning manifestation or appearance.
Matthew’s gospel tells the story: magi from the east follow the star and come looking for the newborn king. They bring the rarest and most precious of gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh and offer him homage (praise.)
One might say an epiphany is an “aha moment.” Despite the humble surroundings, this is no ordinary baby. It’s not even an ordinary king. This is God’s Son!
Today’s prelude; A Child is Born (#99) has several references to the Epiphany of Our Lord.
The refrain connects the song to today’s first reading from the prophet Isaiah. The Christ-child is the light which breaks the darkness that covers the earth.
The verses speak of our theological understanding of the divinity of the Christ-child. While Jesus is born of Mary, he is "begotten by the Father." Verse 2 and 3 speak of an even more special relationship between God the Father and God the Son. "The Word in flesh appearing" and "Word of God Incarnate" are references to John 1:1. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. This means that Jesus is, was and always has been part of God since the beginning of time.
You will also find references to this relationship in the creed which we profess.
With Christmas falling on a Sunday, so does the Solemnity of Mary, Queen of the Universe (January 1) Thus, Epiphany becomes the last of just 3 Sundays in this year’s Christmas season. Some will find this interesting. For a church musician it is akin to the stars being aligned.
Praying that many wonderful things appear in your lives and the life of our parish in 2017.