January 6, 2019
Sunday we celebrate Epiphany (which means, literally, manifestation) – as reported in Matthew’s Gospel. Matthew’s writing is the most Jewish of all the Gospels. You can tell that from the title in verse 1: An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. As his Gospel unfolds, Matthew’s Jesus knows more Israelite history than we hear elsewhere. Matthew’s Jesus understands and, more often, quotes Torah, Israel’s most sacred Scriptures, than we get elsewhere. Matthew, more directly than any other evangelist, portrays Jesus as both the fulfillment of God’s old covenant and the down payment on God’s new covenant.
Into this place of charades and compromises; amidst these scenes of fear and despair; within our very souls of selfishness and triumph, comes, at this Epiphany, not more information about God, but a revelation, a manifestation of God – a new King. We call him Jesus, because Yahweh saves isn’t just his name, it’s the agenda God gave him for us, and it’s the blessing God has him reveal to us.
At our 9:30 A.M., Sunday worship, in prayer, Word, song, sermon and Meal, we’ll experience, again, the love of God shown forth for all of us in this simple and costly birth of Jesus is intended to guard and to guide every step of every journey; those eagerly undertaken and those haltingly pursued. It’s a love that gathers us up from, and out of, our isolating fantasies and failures, and brings us into the vision of who God would have us be – alone and together.