(Brooke’s generosity Blog)
January 5, 2020
Today is the 12th day of Christmas. Is your true love going to give you twelve drummers drumming?
The 12th day is also called Epiphany Eve. Epiphany is when we celebrate the arrival of the Magi to worship Jesus. This is Epiphany Sunday, and the star of the gospel is – literally – the star. It is the original GPS device, guiding the Magi from the east toward Jesus.
The Magi were from Persia, modern day Iran. They were priests in the Zoroastrian religion. There are still about 25,000 Zoroastrian today in Iran.
The Magi name was used as early as 550 BCE, and became a word in Latin, Greek and Persian (Farsi). The Magi were learned scholars and probably were leaders in their faith traditions. A single Magi is called a ‘Magus’ but we know there was more than one Magus.
They are not solitary. They are a group. They are a community.
Again, and again, when Jesus reveals himself in the world, he rarely showed himself to just one person at a time.
Christmas night: the news was announced to shepherds – another group, another kind of community.
Three is a meaningful number. Three is the number of the trinity. It is the number of days Christ spent in the tomb.
But it also signifies something even more meaningful and – for us this morning, much more important.
- Jesus’s baptism: a crowd of witnesses.
- Jesus speaks: Multitudes listen. Multitudes.
- First miracle: at a public gathering, a wedding.
- First appearance after resurrection: to a roomful of followers.
No matter who we are, or where we come from, or what we do: each of us has a treasure to offer. The Magi were just the first. They aren’t the last.
One great message of faith is that we are meant to receive the good news together. To live in community and to celebrate our faith and lives with one another.
Christianity is not a solitary experience.
Thomas Merton put it beautifully: “Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone. We find it with another.”
As we celebrate Epiphany, let’s ask ourselves what we can give in return – to God, and to one another. What are our treasures? What do we have to give?
Epiphany signals to us that Christmas season is drawing to a close.
But that doesn’t mean the season of giving is coming to an end. What can we choose to give this year? To make a difference? To heal a hurt? To nurture children, to care for those who are ill? We are blessed to have gifts to give.
May we choose to live life generously.