Sunday, January 03, 2010

Epiphany--Seek the Lord While He May Be Found

Today's feast of the Epiphany celebrates the revelation of the Christ child to the wider world.  Although the Bible does  not specify three "kings," it does mention three gifts.  There is a tradition that each magi was of a different race, representing all the peoples of the world.

In his sermon today, our priest mentioned that after seeing Jesus, the kings went home "by a different route".  This, he said, was indicative and symbolic of the fact that meeting Christ will inevitably change one's life.  After seeing God, we go home "by a different route" and are forever changed.

Another thing that the three wise men represent is science and all searchers of truth.  The three magi were probably court astronomers watching the night sky for God's signs. According to what the three astronomers were watching was the planet Jupiter appear to join with the star "Regulus".  Both Jupiter and Regulus had associations with kingship in the ancient world. This began to occur during the Jewish New Year, September of 3 BC and so alerted the wise men that a king would be born for the Jewish nation. This conjunction happened in the constellation Leo the Lion, which symbolized the Jewish tribe of Judah which was prophesied to be the tribe in which the savior would be born.
You, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel.  ~Micah 5:2
After appearing to join Regulus, 9 months later, Jupiter then joined Venus, the symbol of motherhood.

Also according to the above website, Jupiter's movement, joining with Regulus and then Venus, stopped in December of 2 BC to the south of where the magi would be traveling, from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.

Check out for a more thorough explanation of the astronomical phenomenon.

At any rate, I think the magi are a sometimes overlooked aspect of the Christmas story.  Christ shows His truth to all seekers and shows Himself in all knowledge.  Let us always search for Him.


TACParent said...

Very interesting.

Marilena said...

that is nice art. very nice.

Dymphna said...

T--I thought you might like it!

Marilena--I really liked that art too. It's by J.C. Leyendecker, an early 20th century American illustrator.

Marilena said...

excellent artist!

Dymphna said...

I agree. Surely one of the most beautiful Three Kings renditions I've ever seen.

Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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