Any kids have a manger scene for Christmas in their house? So who all was in your manger scene?
Of all the people that are represented in the Manger scene the wise men, to me are the most fascinating.
Mary and Joseph, okay they are there because of well she is having a baby.
The shepherds they are there because the host of Angles showed up in the sky and start singing.
The barn animals well they are there, because there was no room in the inn.
The barn animals well, because there was no room in the inn.
Maybe an angel on top for good measure.
But these wise men. They just show up. Out of no where. “The East”
And as quickly as they arrive, poof they are gone.
And then today we celebrate their coming to see Jesus.
These guys have their own special Holy Day in the church calendar.
There are seven special Holy Days in the church calendar, called principal feasts days
Easter: Jesus Resurrection
Ascension: Jesus ascending to his throne as king
Pentecost: Jesus sending his Spirit
Trinity: God as three and yet one
All Saints Day: The union of all Christians past and present
Christmas: Jesus taking on human flesh
And then Epiphany the wise men visit Jesus.
The wise men seem out of place at the manger scene, and so too they seem out of place in the church calendar.
If you had to pick 7 days to be the big celebration days, I am not sure any of us would pick the wise men showing up at Jesus door.
Even out of place they seem in the Manger so too they seem out of place in the church calendar.
So why are they here? Why did the church think they were t so significant they they get their own principal feast in the church calendar?
They are significant because of who they represent.
The wise men, or maji, or kings represent all the nations of the earth.
In Isiah 60 we heard about how all nations shall come to to the light. The wise men did just that.
All the gentile nations who will now come to Jesus to be blessed by the offspring of Abraham, the son of David, the king of the Jews.
They came to worship; drawn by the heavenly lights, to Jesus, the light of the world.
The light of the messiah now being manifested (That is what the word Epiphany means) manifestation, the light of Christ manifested to the gentiles.
The revealing of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Maji coming to worship him.
God is drawing all nations to himself. And this includes us.
For the wise men represents us.
I am not a Jew, I don’t think many of you are either.
Yet we are here because the light of the Jewish messiah has been revealed to us.
And there is one more thing I want us to notice about these wise men and God’s ways.
Kids, how did God get the wise men to Jesus? How did he lead them? What did they see in the sky?
Yeah they saw his star.
These wise men, like most in that day believed that astrological signs had meaning and could be interpreted to see the future, and used to help make decision in daily life. And were often part of their worship practices.
The wise men were pagan astrologers.
They would have tried to use the starts to tell fortunes and interpret omens, something that was forbidden by God.
And what did God do?
He revealed his plan to these wise men using their pagan practices.
He knew how they tried to read the stars so he led them to himself using what they knew.
What this means for us as we enter into this Epiphany season, and many of us are in Community Groups, focused on being a light to the world, and we are reading discussion how we might be more missional.
Let us not forget that God is the one who draws people to himself. This is his mission.
And like the wise men, he is likely to draw people to himself in unexpected ways.