Last Thursday, January 6 was the Feast of the Epiphany. It is the day the church celebrates the arrival of the three wise men with their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh at the manger. Epiphany means “manifestation” or “shining forth.” What led the kings or wise men to worship the newborn Jesus was the “shining forth” of a spectacular star. Matthew 2:1-12 tells us this story and is probably the most popular reading for the day.
Another Gospel story is also associated with Epiphany. It is the Luke 3 story of Jesus’ baptism and the descent of the Holy Spirit on him in the form of a dove. It reminds me of the sacrament of Baptism in my church. At the end of the baptism, the minister takes oil and makes the sign of the cross on the forehead of the baptized. “You are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ’s own forever.” I may not have a star to follow to Jesus. But I have the symbol of the Jesus’s death and his victory implanted on my forehead. This symbol and seal remind me of the one I try to follow.