On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. ~ (Matthew 2:11)
Feast of Epiphany (meaning, manifestation or revelation or showing forth) is observed and celebrated in many church traditions commemorating the Magi’s visit of baby Jesus recorded in Matthew 2:1-12. Also called wise men, the Magi were probably kings or priests from the East. We assume there were three Magi because of the three gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh they presented to Jesus. They followed an unusual star, the star of Bethlehem, to reach the Star of Universe—Jesus Christ.
The Magi were the first non-Jewish (Gentiles, as some call them) people who visited Jesus Christ in the manger and worshipped him. We commonly think that the gospel was presented to non-Jewish people much later, but in fact, it happened at the very birth of Jesus. God’s manifestation through Christ to Magi is important because of two reasons. One, it proves that Jesus Christ is indeed God’s manifestation who is worthy to be worshipped. And two, it proves that God cares for all the people of the world, not just the Jews. This way, at a time when Jews thought that they were chosen people and salvation belonged only to them, God made sure that salvation belongs not only to Jews, the chosen people but to all people of the Earth.
In today’s world, God’s salvation is presented only to the privileged by religious institutions. Faith became so commercialized as if only the rich could afford it. Religion is being used as a tool of oppression and segregation instead of liberation and unity. The event of epiphany proves that Jesus Christ’s birth brought both the Jews and non-Jews together. It provides us with an assurance that all things on the planet are part of God’s salvific plan. Salvation belongs to all people of the Earth, not just Jews or privileged but people of all colours, races, genders, faiths, and nations. “God did not send the Son for the salvation of humanity alone or give us a partial salvation. Rather the gospel is the good news for every part of creation and every aspect of our life and society. It is therefore vital to recognize God’s mission in a cosmic sense and to affirm all life, the whole oikoumene, as being interconnected in God’s web of life” (TTL). Therefore, our mission of evangelism—proclaiming or witnessing to God’s salvation—should not be limited to some people only but to all. The gospel is the good news for the whole creation and everything in it. That’s why Paul says the whole creation is groaning for liberation (Romans 8:21-23).
May our mission of manifesting God not be limited to some people only but all the people of Earth and the creation itself. As God revealed Godself to all the creation, it is our responsibility to proclaim God’s revelation as a holistic salvation of all the planet.
God of life, who intends to give life to the whole of creation, give us the wisdom and commitment to proclaim your salvific grace to all people of the Earth. Amen.