THE MISSIONARY SUMMONS OF EPIPHANY
Beginning on January 6th, the twelfth day after Christmas, that meaningful season of the church year called Epiphany begins. Epiphany means appearing or revealing, and the Scripture readings during this period show Jesus revealing Himself by word and deed as the Son of God and the Savior of the world.
The coming of the wise men (Magi) to Jesus was such a revelation. They were not Jews but Gentiles. By accepting their worship, Jesus reveals Himself as the Savior of all people, Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, men, women, and children. All people need Jesus as their Savior, for “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
We need to be reminded of this fact. We also need to be reminded of the fact that we, the followers of Christ, have the blessed privilege of bringing Him and His Gospel into all the world.
“Arise, shine” (Isaiah 60:1) is Isaiah’s missionary summons for Epiphany. “Your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you … and his glory appears over you” (Isaiah 60:1-2). We, in whose hearts the light of the Gospel has shined, are to reflect that light in word and deed as missionaries for Christ.
When have you last spoken to an unchurched friend, relative or member of your family about his/her sin, his/her soul, and his/her Savior? Not only invite him/her to church, but offer to bring him/her with you. Do you preach the Gospel by setting a Christian example before others? Do you also remember your home and world missionaries (our St. Paul adopted home missionary is Pastor Greg Hein serving in Gilbert, AZ and our St. Paul adopted world missionary is Ben Berger serving in China) in your prayers and with your mission gifts?
Lord, help us all to arise and shine!
(CW # 569 v. 1)
“O Christ, our true and only Light, Enlighten those who sit in night;
Let those afar now hear your voice And in your fold with us rejoice.”
Pastor James Castillo & Pastor Robert Fleischmann