Over the Hills and Far Away
Jan 6th - The Feast of the Epiphany
The Wise Men have finally made it to Bethlehem! In Church our crib has been waiting for them to join the scene as they con
clude their long journey. 6th January is the Feast of the Epiphany. Epiphany means something similar to “revealing” and on this day we witness Christ’s revealing to those travellers from far, far away.
It is easy to forget just how hard it must have been f
or the Magi (Wise Men) to complete the journey to Jesus. They probably came from over 1,000 miles away - the sheer distance is amazing without modern transport. They are, almost certainly, neither Jews nor Roman citizens. They truly come from an alien place. Yet they are drawn to Jesus.
One of the things which
Jesus did was to open the pathway to God to people who had long been considered alien, therefore, unworthy of relationship with God. Despite their obvious resources, the Magi were second class citizens as they entered Judea, at least according to Jewish custom.
Unfortunately the church sometimes makes people feel like second class citizens, even when we try really hard not to. Some people feel like they would not be welcome at Church and we need to make sure they know they will be. This is a risk - if you truly invite everyone you never know who will show up - and they might have screaming kids, or have no access to a shower, or talk to themselves.
The challenge of the Magi is not just to get us to turn to Jesus, to adore and give of our riches. They also challenge us to ponder that they are strangers on a journey, and totally welcomed and accepted by Jesus.
Another reflection on the Journey of the Magi by T.S.Eliot