Dr Sam Richards, United Reformed Church Head of Children’s and Youth Work, uses Matthew 2:9-11 to reflect on the feast day of Epiphany and discuss how despite the pandemic we can still affirm one another.
“…. The star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:9-11 RVSA
Magi from the east join the Christmas story today. Mysterious seers with mysterious gifts. They were able to see in the heavens signs that led them to the child Jesus. They saw Jesus face to face. They were able to see aspects of his calling (kingly, priestly and sacrificial). They gave gifts that affirmed who he was and enabled others to see something of the unique person of Christ.
In seeing and being seen, we experience our own moments of Epiphany. We catch a glimpse of how God sees us and start to see others through God’s eyes.
We all need to be seen. “I see you” is the most basic affirmation of our existence. It is in the loving gaze of a parent or carer. It is in the simple “hello” as we pass on the street. It is in the “I was just thinking of you” message by post, phone or text. This past year we have all been more aware of our need to be seen.
We are all called to be seers. To be those who notice and affirm others. To recognise, name, and encourage their particular giftings and callings. Perhaps, even, to give things and opportunities to enable them to flourish and find fulfilment. To build one another up in love.
Children, young people, students, adults and seniors – we have all experienced a dramatic reduction in contact with others as a result of Covid-19. May we find new ways to see one another, to see God-given potential in each other, to see Christ in all. May we know that God sees us and loves us – a moment of true Epiphany.
Image: Ben White/Unsplash
Published: 3 January 2021