Summary: Epiphany is the season, in which we celebrate " the showing forth of our Lord JESUS AS A baby to the Wise Men or Magi.
THE SUNDAY IN THE SEASON OF EPIPHANY,
THE MESSAGE FOR SUNDAY THE 7th SUNDAY OF JANUARY, 2001,
The LESSON:.....Isaiah 60: 1-6
The Gospel:....... Matthew 2:1-12
PRAYER...MAY THE WORDS OF GO D AND HIS MESSAGE SPOKEN THIS HOUR BE BOTH A WORD OF COMFORT AND CHALLENGE
WE PRAY THAT IT WILL CHALLENGE THOSE WHO ARE COMFORTABLE
AND COMFORT ALL THOSE WHO ARE BEING CHALLENGED THIS DAY.
Introduction::: After Easter, Epiphany is the second oldest season in the Christian Church year.
A.......The Greek word Epiphany can be translated "the showing forth."
And Epiphany is the day which leads to the season, in which we celebrate " the showing forth of our Lord JESUS AS A baby to the Wise Men or Magi.
SO today we celebrate the FIRST SUNDAY OF Epiphany, with the gladness of heart BECAUSE WITH SO MANY SECRETS WHICH SURROUND US TODAY...he has " shown, manifest, revealed himself to us...
B..........The word "epiphany" also means appearing, bringing something into the light, making SOMETHING visible what was once unseen and hidden.
SO IN A PLANNER SENSE The season of Epiphany is ALSO about light:
AND OUR SCRIPTURE OF ISAIAH GUIDE US IN VERSE 1"..Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you."
SO THE SEASON OF Epiphany is ALSO about the coming of the true Light into the darkness of this world.
AND WHO IS THE ONE TRUE LIGHT IN OUR LIVES BUT JESUS..
Scripture tells us that "Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, JESUS IS THE Light WHICH no darkness can overcome."
THERE ARE several aspects of light become more apparent AS WE LOOK at the development of the passage..
A.......Light was the first word spoken by God into the chaotic darkness of creation. "Let there be light."
And there was light. AND GOD SAW THE LIGHT AND SAID THAT IT WAS GOOD.
B.....THE PSALMIST SAY GUIDE US IN HIS UNDERSTANDING OF LIGHT WHEN HE says ...."Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."
LASTLY The symbol of the presence of God in Scripture is light.
C.........This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5 NIV).
THAT PASSAGE IS WORTH REPEATING..God is light, and in Him there is no darkness."
Darkness means disorientation, despair.
We speak of "dark moods,"
or the "dark side" of someone’s personality,
or "the dark underbelly" of society.
Sin draws us into the darkness.
Sin loves darkness and uses darkness as its cover. More crimes are committed at night than in the light of day. Ask the policemen who patrols the streets at night.
SIN tries to blot out the light, to kill the light.
Sin hates the light and refuses to come out into the light. "
BUT WE ACKNOWLEDGE THAT...
Jesus is light enough to dispel our deepest darkness,
Jesus is light enough to scatter the darkness of our sin, Jesus is light enough to destroy the darkest depths of our death.
AND AS WE AFFIRM THAT JESUS IS THE LIGHT ...JESUS TELLS US THAT WE ARE LIGHT TO...
Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
In today’s O.T. Text Isaiah stresses A FACT IN VERSE 2 OF CHAPTER 60:
"Darkness covers the earth and thick clouds cover the people."
I WISH TO RAISE THE QUESTION..Has darkness covered us??????
AND like the leaders of Jews of his day, HAVE WE ALSO become absorbed in the affairs of this life
and the quest for wealth, pleasure and power...
I RAISE THE QUESTION???? Have we become so totally absorbed in such things as to have neither the interest nor the time to pay our respects to Christ or to welcome him into our homes and our hearts, as our true Lord.
ISAIAH ANNOUNCES IN VERSE 2.. "But the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you..
Isaiah reminds us that this wonderful Light that scatters the darkness "Lift up your eyes and look about you., Isaiah says. "See how all PEOPLE assemble and come to you, your sons and daughters.
He is calling all people into His priesthood, calling them out of darkness, into His marvelous light. Isaiah foresaw the day that the nations would come to worship the true God, when herds of camels would cover the land, when people from Sheba would come bringing gold and incense.
Isaiah foresaw the day when the eastern wise men, Persian astrologers or Magi, would come to Israel seeking the Christ who was born in Bethlehem.
He saw the day when those who once worshipped the stars would be led by the star to bow down and worship the Child who was their King, their God, their Savior.