BBC Prayer for the Day – Epiphany

Good morning.

Today is the Feast of the Epiphany – the story of the strange visitors from the East arriving in Bethlehem to present their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the infant Jesus and his probably rather startled parents.

There is so much we don’t know about these Eastern visitors. Though we might sing “We three kings of orient are” with great gusto, we don’t know if there were really three of them, the Bible doesn’t tell us they were kings but describes them rather mysteriously as Magi and it is hard to say with certainty precisely where they are supposed to have come from.

However, the story of those travellers tells us much that we can know with great certainly. Their story shows us that God is there for everyone, even people different from us. Spirituality seems to be something that human beings from different traditions have in common. Consciousness of God seems to disrupt and undermine any barriers and boundaries that religious people might put up. The visit of the Magi suggests that perhaps we need to learn about all that is holy from those whom we least expect to share common values and experiences with. God is amongst those who differ from us.

Gold for the holy refugee family on the run from Herod. Sumptuous incense to mark the birth of the most special child. Strange and bitter myrhh to keep us guessing what God has in store in the future.

Loving God, the Magi were guided by a star to where the infant Jesus lay. Guide us by the light of your love to walk pathways of peaceful discovery and make journeys beyond the boundaries of our expectations. Amen

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