Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Sunday, January 6, 2008 ~ The Epiphany of the Lord

Matthew 2: 1-12

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him." When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: `And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.'" Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him." When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.


I have previously reflected on the humility the Lord demands of us. In this Gospel, He is again demonstrating the high ideal of lowliness we should all strive to achieve. These three kings, wise men, magi, revered in their fields, travel miles and miles to follow a star and seek a new king. Unlike Herod, they are not concerned their kingdoms or wisdom will be usurped by a tiny baby. They only want to worship Him and pay Him homage.

How humble am I? In this new year, in what ways is Christ calling me to humble myself before His presence? Do I shudder at the thought of seeing my control over my life slip through my fingers or do I embrace each moment as God's gift, seeking God's will only? Have I surrendered my everything to Him?

In college a friend of mine wrote a song that touched me deeply. It was about the Gospel passage where the woman breaks her alabaster jar and anoints the Lord's head and dries her tears from his feet with her hair. The picture is breathtaking, as I imagine it. The chorus of her song is my biggest New Year's resolution, and I hope she won't mind if I share it with you, as well.

*from "Alabaster Jar" by Kristy Cranley & Rita Patino

Take my heart, O Lord, and break me.
Break my heart, Lord Jesus, and take me.
Open my arms and my eyes to Your will.
Here is my alabaster jar.

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