While we have had Nativity Sets out for awhile now, these characters and story most come alive with the story of the magi arriving in Bethlehem to see the Christ Child. But of course this happens in the midst of jealous rulers and creates fear for many in Jerusalem. During a time of division in our nation, when the electoral college votes are being challenged for a new president, perhaps it is easier to see how people looking at the same star could see such different things and feel such different feelings. But the star arrives as do visitors from far off places, that seem to understand what is happening better than those close by. It is a reminder for us to look out for wisdom where we don’t expect it and hear new perspectives as well as welcome those that value what we have.
Epiphany is a time when we remember visitors among us and hope for visitors to come again to our churches and homes. We pray that we will be ready. As we think of the Magi and await our visitors, we can celebrate Epiphany with a special service provided by the ELCA.
Many people have inquired during these months of quarantine how to bless their homes, especially since so many hours are spent there these days. While Epiphany is the time when you are invited to the ritual of home blessing. Go to the end of this service to see how to write “God Bless This Home” in the tradition of the ancient church. I hope many of you will find time for this sacred practice as you remember that your home is a place where God lives and where God’s work is carried out!