Epiphany of the Lord (January 6, 2018)
- First reading
- Second reading
Ephesians 3:1-12 | New Living Translation (NLT)
When I think of all this, I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the benefit of you Gentiles . . . assuming, by the way, that you know God gave me the special responsibility of extending his grace to you Gentiles. As I briefly wrote earlier, God himself revealed his mysterious plan to me. As you read what I have written, you will understand my insight into this plan regarding Christ. God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now by his Spirit he has revealed it to his holy apostles and prophets.
And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus. By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.
Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.
God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.
Today is January 6th. That means today is Epiphany. Some may wonderful what Epiphany is all about. Today we see that the wisemen come and reveal Jesus to the world. In many cultures this day is celebrated in various different ways. In years past, we have made a king’s cake. The season that follows in the church is about Jesus’ mission – bringing light to the world. It’s about Jesus revealing God’s plan to the nations.
That’s what Paul is writing about today in Ephesians. Paul reminds us, as God reminded us by sending the Wisemen (who were Gentiles) that the birth of Jesus was for all people – Jew and Gentile, man and woman, free and slave. Those who trust in Christ and believe in him and obey his commandments are part of the inheritance that came because Jesus Christ came to earth. We belong to Christ. It’s not something we earn but is part of God’s amazing grace. This is the Good News that we share to all people – without prejudice.
Paul, because of how he treated God’s people, thought he was the least deserving of all the people to spread the news of God’s beautiful love and his treasures. But God’s grace was upon him. Each one of us who trust in Christ are meant to reveal the beautiful treasures and grand inheritance we have in Christ to those who are around us. This is what Epiphany is all about – it is about revealing Christ to those who around us. Just as the wisemen revealed Christ to the world.
Up until Christ was born, the plan had remained a mystery, but now with Jesus Christ’s birth into the world and his manifestation by the wisemen, the plan was now laid open. The plan was carried out through Jesus.
Why is this so important? Because of Christ, because of his incarnation (his coming to dwell – to make his home in our hearts,) his death, and resurrection, Jesus has made a way for Jews and Gentiles to have a relationship with God. The relationship that was planned for us so very long ago – the very beginning of time. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we – as Paul writes – can come boldly to the throne – we can come confidently to the throne and be in God’s presence.
Even that, remains a mystery to me at times. Why would God do that? Why would He come? Why would he extend his grace? It’s all because of his amazing love that He has revealed himself to the world.