God lit up sin-darkened Magi hearts with Jesus the Light. Jesus is our light too, a light we need to share!
Daniel M. Schroeder
The spotlight lights up the face of the actor on the stage. The light draws your attention. It shines on the important.
In this month of January, you will hear the word epiphany. The word epiphany means to reveal or make known. The Greek origin of the word has the picture of shining a light upon something, lighting it up. For over 1,800 years Christians have celebrated the second oldest festival of Christendom—the Epiphany of Our Lord—on Jan. 6.
At the time of Jesus, if a king or emperor made an official visit to one of his cities, it was called an epiphany. When heavenly King Jesus made his appearance as a baby in his village of Bethlehem, the King of kings had officially arrived for his subjects. God was revealing to the world—lighting it up—that the King was making an official visit: an epiphany.
Magi from the East, well acquainted with stars and prophecy, arrived in Jerusalem to find the promised King whose star they had seen. Although Israel awaited the Messiah and knew Bethlehem as the Messiah’s birth-town, not one of them went with the Magi to find the King. No interest. You can sense a darkness.
Thick, spiritual darkness covered Judea, Galilee, Persia, and the rest of the world. It was a darkness that blacked out all hope of life with God. And then God sent his Son Jesus, the radiant Light to destroy sin’s darkness. The Spirit had the prophet Isaiah put it this way, “Arise, shine, for your light has come. . . . The LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory” (Isaiah 60:1,19). The Savior is the light who never stops shining to defeat the darkness of sin, death, and Satan.
God lit up sin-darkened Magi hearts with Jesus the Light. The Spirit lit up the Magi’s faith to see that Jesus is the darkness-defeater, not just for the Jews but also for the world.
Jesus is our light too. Don’t keep the Light only for family, friends, or familiar faces that look like us. Also send the Light across oceans to continents where Satan continues to rule darkened hearts blinded in unbelief.
For the last 1,400 years, Epiphany worshipers have prayed, “Lord God, by the leading of a star you once made known to the nations your one and only Son . . .” Resolve this Epiphany season to be part of making Jesus the Light known to the nations.
Dan Schroeder is pastor at St. Peter, Modesto, California.
Putting Epiphany into practice
Here are some ways for you to help reveal the Light:
- Pray for and send an offering to a mission effort in a country from which your ancestors originated.
- Write a letter of encouragement and, with help from some friends, send a care package to a missionary and his family.
- Select a mission field in a country you know little about. Find out more about that country. Pray for the gospel workers there and the unique challenges they face. Send an offering to support that mission work.
- Arrange for a mission dinner at your church.Serve dishes native to a world mission (include kid-friendly food as an option). Use it as an outreach event to invite and connect others to your church.
- Along with a mission dinner, use Skype, Facetime, Google Hangouts, or another application to “bring” a missionary to your church.
Your pastor or the WELS World Mission office at (414) 256-3234 or firstname.lastname@example.org can help you connect with a world mission field.
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Author: Daniel M. Schroeder
Volume 105, Number 1
Issue: January 2018
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