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“Concerning the Star”
Epiphany of the Lord Sunday
The Spirit of God is as public as a star which anyone can see from wherever they are.
That might be the main point of the familiar passage we read this morning from the gospel of Matthew; the annual Epiphany Sunday story of foreign strangers and absolute outsiders, drawn to Jesus, from someplace far, by the guiding light of a distant star.
A story which, interestingly enough, appears nowhere in Mark, Luke or John, but, only in Matthew; a gospel many students of scripture believe was written sometime around eighty A.D., for an originally Jewish community of faith, still struggling to redraw the circle of their welcome to make room for Gentile newcomers.
Which may explain why, of the four gospels, only Matthew reports the arrival of those Gentile strangers who followed a star from some place far to worship the Jewish Jesus; perhaps, the writer of the gospel of Matthew’s way of reminding his congregation that their boundaries were not God’s boundaries; a reminder, for us all, that, while we belong to God, God does not belong to us.
Rather, God is as active and present “out there” as God is active and present “in here”; the main message of the familiar story of the Wise Men from afar; that the God we know in Jesus is as public as a star.