Jesus came as a light, The Light, to lighten the Gentiles! (Luke 2:32 and Acts 26:23) He came for His people, which come from every tongue, tribe, and nation according to His great sovereignty & grace. Even for me. Even for my children. What a glorious mercy! What dazzling light!
“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.”
“As with gladness men of old
Did the guiding star behold;
As with joy they hailed its light,
Leading onward, beaming bright;
So, most gracious Lord may we
Ever more your splendor seek.”
William C. Dix
Today is Epiphany, and we remember with joy the wisdom and obedience of the magi as they followed the star, found the child King, and worshiped Him with gifts beyond our understanding. So today my children and I have lit extra candles, and we talk about sharing the light of Jesus with all people, and we end the Christmas season with gladness and joy and dazzle ~ because Christ has come! He came for His people ~ He came for all peoples ~ and He came for us. Amen! Praise to Thee, Lord Christ! Amen!
And for a unique poetic take on the subject, read along with me what T. S. Eliot wrote from the perspective of the magi…
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.’
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging highprices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.
All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.