Mrs Stothard’s Sunday School
In this week’s Sunday School, our beloved Bishop’s Visitor, Mrs. Stothard, and the wonderful Reverend Gabel, share the story of the Epiphany and words of reflection with us.
Trust Forgiveness Peace Thankfulness Compassion Friendship Love Hope Perserverance
Epiphany is held on the 12th day of Christmas, the 6th January. It commemorates the visit of the Magi, or Three Wise men, to the baby Jesus.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
“But you Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah, for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, ”Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship Him.”
After they had heard the king, they went on their way and the star they had seen when it rose, went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house they saw the child with his mother Mary and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
A few words from Reverend Lee Gabel
Epiphany reflection 2021
Epiphany comes at a time when the magic of Christmas has worn off. We are left with having to work out what to do with the dry and shedding tree, where to put all the new toys? Knowing what to do with gifts seems poignant at this time, what did the Holy Family do with the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh; perhaps they went some way to helping the family survive exile in Egypt.
The wise men are not called that in Matthews Gospel, “magi” is a Greek word for an ancient priestly caste skilled in astrology and magic. The number of magi is deduced from the number of gifts that they bring; but there could have been two or more than two.
Their quest leads them to follow a star, they stop at Herod’s palace – the logical place for a king – but Jesus is not there. The magi must continue their journey. Their persistence is rewarded and they eventually come to the stable and present their gifts.
We are told very little about the magi the Epiphany and the birth of Jesus in general; but there is a reason why these stories were told, the recognition of Jesus is gradual, not everyone sees who he is immediately so the Gospel writer lets us know that if you persist – like the magi – you will find Jesus eventually.
God is manifest in the surprise and unexpected, the wise men are late to the Christmas party, but this is the joy and strength of Epiphany or – Christmas 2 the sequel; we are never too late to join the party. Christmas day has come and gone, and we are left with the task of having to tidy the mess up; but an Epiphany is not just for Christmas – it can last a lifetime.
I wish you all many blessings,