Holy Trinity Anglican Church

Sermons and Reflections

Are You Wise? _ Reflection 8 January 2017

The Epiphany is depicted in a mural titled "Adoration of the Magi" in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception at Conception Abbey in Conception, Mo. Painted by Benedictine monks in the late 1800s, the artwork is the first appearance of the German Beuronese style in a U.S. church. Christians celebrate the incarnation of the divine word -- the birth of Christ -- Dec. 25. The feast of the Epiphany is Jan. 2. (CNS photo courtesy Conception Abbey) (Nov. 8, 2004)

What is it that made the wise men wise? Was it schooling and experience? There were many well schooled and highly experienced people in the time of Jesus who were not wise enough to recognize Him. Was it intelligence? There were many smart people who also failed to recognize Jesus. In today’s epistle reading, Paul, a very smart, zealous, and well educated man, regards his wisdom as “the commission of God’s grace that was given me for you…the mystery was made known to me by revelation.” I think Paul provides an even greater insight into wisdom in his letter to the Romans when he writes, “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” (Romans 1:19-23)

The wise men were wise precisely because they saw the glory of God revealed in the stars and they honored God. Perhaps we can take their example into our lives by prayerfully considering the account of their visit.

For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.

In what ways has God invited you to “see His star rising?” How is God inviting you into His presence? How are you responding?

When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.

As you draw near to God, do you allow yourself to be overwhelmed with joy and anticipation?

“On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage”

Is your response to the presence of God humility and worship?

“Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts”

Do you “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship?” (Rom 12:1)

“And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.”

Are you willing to hear God speak to you? Are you willing to follow Him? Are you ready to be wise?