The Epiphany, Three Kings Day, concludes the traditional Christmas season.

Christmas is the story of the God who came to earth to connect with people.

The Epiphany (Matthew 2:1-12) is a story of people connecting with God in the person of Jesus.

The Magi from the East

Magi were wise sages who served as expert advisers to royal leaders.

They saw a certain star that announced a new king of the Jews was born. When your job is advising kings, you look for stars like that! They grabbed gifts fit for a royal family birth.  These were not baby toys! They traveled to the Jew’s capital city, to the royal palace … because that is where kings are born.

Then they discovered that the current king did not know about the new baby king. Yeah, that was awkward! Then they learned of an ancient prophecy that the Messiah (a special king) would be born in Bethlehem. Then they traveled to that remote rural town.

There they found a baby, not born to royalty, but to a displaced unwed couple of an occupied land. There they found a baby, not born in a palace, but in the most humble setting of a manger.

Magi normally interacted with royalty and stayed in luxury palaces. Magi were normally waited on by people like the family in the manger!

None of that mattered when the magi encountered Jesus. There was something about the baby that caused them to do the culturally unthinkable.

The esteemed magi bowed down and worshiped the baby born who was born in a manger.  The esteemed magi gave gifts fit for royalty to a family who would never see that much treasure in their lifetime.

Then, the story tells us, the magi were full of joy! They were full of joy as they gave and worshiped. They were full of joy as people who had connected with God.

While Christmas centers on God coming to earth to connect with people, Epiphany is about people actually experiencing that connection with God in Jesus.  It provides a model to receive that connection today.

The magi’s humility enabled them to connect with God.

The magi bent down before Jesus in humble worship.

The magi humbly gave their best to Jesus.

May we humble ourselves and connect God this Epiphany.