This day, the feast of the epiphany , is a familiar one. So familiar, one can reach a certain doldrums when describing it. That is something I am trying to avoid. I have no desire to rearrange sentences to repeat what I have already said. If someone should be interested in a past approach to this day, they are recorded and filed away. How do I approach this day today? I think it will not be from the standpoint of the gifts, or even much of an explaining of the kings. I think I will look at the journeys and the stars.
The story tells of the kings journeying from the east, Persia, to Jesus in a manger. They traveled guided by a star. Their journey was deliberate, and educated. They knew how they were going to chart their course, they knew their destination and who they were looking for. They knew in philosophical terms, they knew according to their intellect and background.
Some tell a little about these noble travelers, they were royal, and were considered to be Zoroastrian. Zoroastrian’s was a large religion in the region, they followed one god and adhered to a concept of good versus evil, and light versus darkness. Their worship was of the good, the light, which they symbolized with fire. Theirs was a large religion , the Jews knew them and they knew the Jews. Mary and Joseph likely encountered Zoroaster’s many times.The story tells of their journey to the Christ Child.
The other half of the story was told earlier in the Nativity narratives. The other half of the story is Christ’s journey to the manger. That story contains Judaism, the Annunciation, the Visitation, Josephs encounter with an angel, the immaculate conceptions . That journey contains every detail that leads to the birth of the Christ Child, including that manger he was born into. It includes the visit by the shepherds under the direction of an angel. If one were to look at every event that lead up to the nativity as a point of light, a star, a constellation would begin to emerge. The magi were astronomers, they read the stars.
Two constellations begin to emerge.The magi’s story also had its points of light, they had their constellation, they had events that lead them on their journey. When they reached the end of their journey, they fell to their knees in adoration at that manger. The stars fell into place, they were aligned.An order in the heavens, a new order on earth. A manger as significant as a temple, in fact more so. Their epiphany was discovering the answer that sent them on a quest. That answer was the Child born in a manger, a very specific Child. The Christ Child, they found their King. It was written in the stars. This is a very profound event, celebrated from the earliest years of the Church.It is an Epiphany.