Words from Our Pastor

Monday, January 7, 2019

Sharing Gifts

This past Sunday in church, we celebrated Epiphany, which in the Lutheran tradition (and others) marks the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (or Wise Men).  We read the famous passage from Matthew 2, a passage filled with wonder, danger, delight, and joy.  We learn about how these Wise Men (not kings, as the famous carol suggests) traveled from afar to find the new king and to worship him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

But the magic of the passage lies just below the surface.  Here is a celebration of a different kind of king- a king defined not by threat and intimidation, but by vulnerability and radical welcome.  This is a king whose power is love.   Here is an illustration of the radical welcome of our Christian faith, and an beautiful model for appropriate worship.

In the passage, God provides a light leading and guiding these men from the far end of the world; men who by all counts were from the margins- outside of the “acceptable” religious tradition, ethnicity, or country of origin.  Upon arrival at the feet of this new king, they bow down, worship, and offer gifts.  

Like the Magi, we can also share our gifts- whatever they might be-- our talents, our resources, our time, and our ideas.  When we boldly, generously share our gifts, we are participating in the transformative work of God in the world.  In a sense, we are laying them at the feet of our savior, Jesus Christ.  When we lay our gifts at the feet of the savior, we too become the light. 

We become the light that guides others into this wonderful, radical, kingship defined by love, liberation for the oppressed, and comfort for the poor. We become a light that invites everyone into this new reality, regardless of the gender, race, creed, nationality, or any other identity. 
So share those gifts.  Boldly.  Let your light shine.
See you in church.