Epiphany

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Ernest
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Epiphany

Post by Ernest » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:00 am

I am preaching for the second year running at Epiphany. Particularly on the Magi and the gifts that they brought to Jesus. Some thoughts on this:

1. The Magi (commonly described as the Wisemen x 3, are believed to have been Magicians (the foundation of the term Magi is connected with the ancient practice of magic or sorcery in the ancient east. Other descriptions place them as highly placed politicians in the Court of the Medes and Persians. Whover or whatever they were, they have achieved iconic status in the story of the nativity.

2. The facts of the story are challenged. Over the centuries, they placed as visiting Jesus at the Manger in Bethlehem, but the description in Matthews gospel, displaces that. They found Jesus, Mary and Joseph in a house, meaning that he must have been at least 40 days old, seeing as he was presented in the Temple at that age, according to Luke's gospel. It is possible that they were actually led to Nazareth, where Mary and Joseph returned, after the Temple episode.

3. It's likely that he was in act older. When they visited Herod, he asked them to comeback and tell where the King was to be found - which they didn't do. His response was to order the massacre of all boy children under the age of 2 years (described as the Holy Innocents) which led to Josephs dream, which warned him to flee to Egypt until Herod died, when it was safe to return.

4. The significance of the three Gifts, Gold for a King, Incense precious perfume for a King and Myhrr commonly used to anoint the dead, perhaps as a reminder of the future, death and resurrection. These gifts seem menial, when considering God's omnipotent power and creation of these very elements. But they point us towards giving all that we have, ourselves in devotion to God.Particularly as God has given us his ultimate gift of himself, incarnate through, his only Son, Jesus Christ for our Salvation.

5. Their recognition of the Divinity of the Christ child, when they fell on their knees to worship him - points to Jesus as the son of God, and perhaps their conversion of heart from Magic to something deeper and wider - knowledge of the one God, now Incarnate among mankind.

There are lots more thoughts, but airing them allows me to ponder further. I need a different theme from last year and the gifts seem to feature this time around.
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

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Joyce
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Epiphany

Post by Joyce » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:24 pm

In Monty Python's Life of Brian, which begins with the magi going to the wrong stable, Ernest, you can see a non-divine mother's attitude to the gifts. If you've never watched it, you might find it interesting.

I wonder how much gold there was ? Enough to see the family through hard times in a foreign land or to re-establish themselves once back home,and get Jesus started on his adult ministry ?

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Ernest
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Epiphany

Post by Ernest » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:30 pm

I wonder if I can find that scene for my Sermon? Thanks for pointing me towards it. :)
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

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Caroline
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Epiphany

Post by Caroline » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:02 pm

For some reason I woke on Christmas morning with a verse of 'We Three Kings' going through my head - the one about myrrh. That put all the frivolity into context...

"Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom.
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb."

Such a gift for a child - it would have to be inspired by God, or even a wise man would surely not have the courage to give it.
Kindness is underrated.

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Ernest
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Epiphany

Post by Ernest » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:35 am

Thanks Caroline.

Last year when I preached I went into the details of the gifts and their meaning -so I don't want to repeat those words. So, a slightly different theme is needed.

But I will need to ensure that we use that hymn during the service, perhaps as the gradual, before the Gospel.
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

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Ernest
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Epiphany

Post by Ernest » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:37 am

And I have the clip as well from the life of Brian. Will consult with the Vicar whether showing it would be appropriate :)
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

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Ernest
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Epiphany

Post by Ernest » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:39 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVS_zG4a1ag
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

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Joyce
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Epiphany

Post by Joyce » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:46 pm

Hope the Epiphany service goes well for you, Ernest.

Happy preaching !

:votive2:

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Ernest
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Post by Ernest » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:19 am

Thanks Joyce.

I will post the final one delivered here on Sunday.
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

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Joe Parrish
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Epiphany

Post by Joe Parrish » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:03 am

“Our most important decision”, a sermon based on Matthew 2:1-12, for The Epiphany (moved), January 7, 2018, the first sermon at http://sjnj.com/media_view.php

The magi came to find the Christ Child because it was the most significant event ever that could have happened in their time. They came in spite of a disbelieving world. They came in spite of the improbability of such a Holy One’s existence. They came because Christ was that important, that significant, that profound above anything they had ever witnessed. We join the magi today in bowing in worship and adoration of the Christ Child.

Peace and Epiphany blessings,
Joe
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Ernest
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Epiphany

Post by Ernest » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:00 am

http://goodinparts.blogspot.co.uk/2018/ ... r-our.html

Another alternative sermon for Epiphany from Katherine Fleming, a Canon at Coventry Cathedral.

She writes brilliant stuff. :cross:
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

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