On January 6 every year, we remember the Magi – the Wise Outsiders – who travelled from their own Kingdom, following a star, to find the newborn King. (Matthew 2:1-12). At St Paul’s, we celebrate Epiphany on the Sunday before Jan 6.
As we enter a new year we welcome the light of Christ, symbolised by the star the Wise Outsiders followed; and so we welcome wise ones from diverse places and perspectives, who come to us as outsiders, looking different from us, speaking different languages, engaging in different customs, holding different beliefs and world views, yet determined, with us, to follow the light of truth. With them we discover anew each year that the search for truth always leads to Jesus – because all light is the light of Christ.
Following the light and welcoming outsiders. That’s what Epiphany is about. The story of the Wise Outsiders challenges our prejudices and pushes against our boundaries. Every year this story does that; and every year we need it to do it again!
Because of those wise outsiders, the idea of following a star has become a metaphor for our ongoing search for God. If Jesus is the truth then we will keep seeking truth, wherever it might be found, for the rest of our lives. And that search will always lead us to Jesus. Again and again. More and more. If God is love then we will keep seeking love. And that search will always lead us to God. If God is peace, beauty, joy and goodness, we will keep seeking peace, beauty, joy and goodness, and we will keep finding God. When we follow a true star, it will always lead us to the creator of the stars and the mountains and oceans.
We distribute Star Words each Epiphany. These are words, written on stars, that help us set and reset our inner compass for the year. The words are all positive, all worth taking as our guides. As Paul said in Philippians 4:8 “whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
We distribute stars at our services, but if you can’t get to St Paul’s you can get your word by clicking on the star: