Today marks the Feast of the Epiphany, which commemorates the visitation of the Magi, the three wise guys, to Jesus. This event is mentioned only in Matthew. Little is known about the Magi, but these three characters represent a host of Gospel characters with something in common: they enter stage right, have a brief encounter with Christ, then exit stage left never to be heard from again. I wonder about so many of these characters: What was the encounter like? What were their expectations? What became of them? I believe that these characters represent us in the Gospel narrative. What is our encounter with Christ like? What do we expect of him? What becomes of us after our experience?
It makes sense to use this pericope on the Epiphany. It is unique in it being mentioned only once in the synoptic Gospels and what is amazing, for me, is that the Magi knew Christ was special…and they took another way home. That symbolism of choice leaps out at me! We have the choice every day to do what we want with our encounter wih Christ. As a Christian, I believe that we have the opportunity to have an encounter with Christ any time we want. Christ is always there for us…are we always there for Christ?
In the Episcopal Daily Office, one of the psalms for this morning is Psalm 46. It contains the comfortable words: Be still, then, and know that I am God. May this Feast of the Epiphany, this Feast of God-with-Skin-On, help us all to see the manifestations and blessings of Christ in our everyday lives!