The feast of Epiphany (literally “appearance,” or “manifestation”) is a festival which commemorates the visit of the wise men to the infant Jesus, and more broadly the revelation of Christ to the gentiles as a “light to the nations” (Isaiah 49:6; 60:3). Light is a consistent theme in traditional celebrations of Epiphany, and you’ll find that this morning’s service follows suit. The Scripture readings that begin and end the service this morning remind us that our light has come (Isaiah 60:1), and that the light will not be overcome by darkness (John 1:5). We will be comforted from the psalms when we sing, “Light to the upright shall arise, though he in darkness be” (Alleluia! How Blest The Man—Psalm 112). We will confess that Jesus is the “Light of the anxious heart,” and the “Light of light, light’s living spring” (Light Of The Anxious Heart; O Splendor Of God’s Glory Bright). The service concludes with one of the great Epiphany hymns, As With Gladness, Men Of Old. In this hymn, the poet suggests that just like the wise men observing the light of the star of Bethlehem, so should we be ever led by the light of Christ. —Henry C. Haffner
Key Words: Herod, Dream, Archelaus, Galilee, Nazareth
Keystone Verse: And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled: “He shall be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew 2:23)
19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and His mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 21 And he rose and took the child and His mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee.23 And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.