“Now after 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 saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” - Matthew 2:1-2
"God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you.” - 1 Peter 4:10

The Twelve Days of Christmas – the ones we often sing about – are counted from December 25th until January 5th. Epiphany is the climax of the twelve days, falling on the thirteenth day after Christmas. It is an occasion for feasting in many cultures, with a special King’s cake often baked as part of the Epiphany festivities.

Yesterday, January 6, was the day of Epiphany. The term “epiphany” means “to show,” “to make known,” or “to reveal.” This holiday remembers the wise men, who brought gifts to the young Jesus, and by so doing, revealed Jesus as King to the world. Their story is found in Matthew 2:1-11

"Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 'Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We have seen his star as it arose, and we have come to worship him.'

Herod was deeply disturbed by their question, as was all of Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law. 'Where did the prophets say the Messiah would be born?' he asked them.

'In Bethlehem,' they said, 'for this is what the prophet wrote: "O Bethlehem of Judah, you are not just a lowly village in Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel."'

Then Herod sent a private message to the wise men, asking them to come see him. At this meeting he learned the exact time when they first saw the star. Then he told them, 'Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!'

After this interview the wise men went their way. Once again the star appeared to them, guiding them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house where the child and his mother, Mary, were, and they fell down before him and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh." (NLT)

These men came to the King, bearing gifts. You and I have gifts to bring to the King of Kings as well. Ephesians 2:10 reveals that we are each masterpieces of God – one-of-a-kind creations – complete with certain gifts and talents. These gifts help us fulfill God’s good plans for our lives. When we use them to bless others, we bless our King as well.

"God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you.” - 1 Peter 4:10

Do you have the gift of HOSPITALITY? Bake a neighbor some cookies, make a meal for a shut-in, or throw a party and invite others in.

Do you have the gift of TEACHING? Teach a bible study, coach a softball team, volunteer in your local school system, or offer to tutor a neighborhood child.

Are you blessed with the ability to GIVE graciously? Give not only to your church, but to the poor and to the many organizations doing Kingdom work.

Do you have the gift of MERCY? Visit a shut-in, volunteer at your local crisis pregnancy center, or work at a battered women’s shelter.

As we celebrate this day, let’s consider how we can bring our gifts as an offering to our King. In so doing, we’ll allow God’s generosity to flow through us to others – just as Peter encouraged us in today’s verse. Happy Epiphany!

Dear Lord, today I crown you King of my heart. Help me see ways I can use my gifts and talents to bless You and others. Amen.
Jan 7 2019