What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Sermon Notes and Epiphany!

Yesterday, January 6, was the day that the church "liturgical calendar"  celebrates or recognizes "Epiphany", or the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child....



Epiphany definition:

1.   The manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1–12).
1.1  The festival commemorating the Epiphany on 6th of January.
1.2  A manifestation of a divine or supernatural being.
2.   A  moment of sudden and great revelation or realization.

Here is a link to some info on "Epiphany"https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/epiphany

Many churches, mostly the more liturgical churches do recognize Epiphany, or "Twelfth Night".  In my home growing up we never took down our Christmas tree until Jan. 6th, which was also my mother's birthday.  I always assumed it was because that was her birthday, and that is what they did in her home as she was growing up.  It wasn't until later years that I understood that Jan. 6th was "Epiphany", and many traditional churches recognize the visit of the Magi (The Wise Men) on that day. That doesn't necessarily mean that was the date they actually visited the baby Jesus. There are many discussions on that, mostly that it was anywhere from several months up to a year or more before the Wise Men actually arrived to present their gifts.  We just know that it wasn't on Christmas day.  They had followed the Star from their lands starting on the day Christ was born, and it led them to the Christ Child (read Matthew chapter 2).  

So whether or not you or your particular church recognize Epiphany as an actual event is not the most important aspect of this.  It's just another beautiful way to close out the Christmas/Advent season and recognize the significance of the gifts of the Magi...Gifts that actually may have helped the "Holy Family" to make their escape to Egypt when King Herod ordered all the baby boys two years old and younger to be slaughtered...just some things to ponder as you put away your Christmas things and your Nativity Scene...

And so yesterday in our church our Pastor gave us some things to think about regarding the journey of the Wise Men.  I will summarize the main points here:

When the Wise Men saw the star shining they knew that "King of the Jews" had been born. (see Matthew 2:1-12)  They had studied the stars and knew this star was significant.  And so they "put feet to their faith" and started off on their journey to find the newborn King.  

What can WE learn from the Wise Men?
  • Be constantly alert---stop, look and listen...
  • Be willing to act...
  • When God presents us with a new opportunity, are WE willing to get up and start that journey of faith?
  • What is God calling us to be doing?
  • The Magi found Jesus and worshipped Him.  They presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. But their greatest gift was to get down on their knees and worship Him.
  • When God asks us to do something, somehow we have to put our feet to our faith
  • Rise up and follow
It's a New Year...time for a new fresh start...time to stand up and put our feet to work to serve God.
  • Where is the Light of the Star leading you now?
  • Prepare your hearts for action...don't get too comfortable
  • Put action to your faith
  • What will YOU do with that star?


The following passage is a prophecy concerning the epiphany of the Light being given to the Gentiles...The Wise Men seeing that star was the fulfillment of the Light of God's salvation, Jesus Christ, being made manifest to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews...so there was a lot more significance to the Wise Men's journey to see Christ than just a few kings traveling to see a newborn king...


Isaiah 60:1-6
1.  "Arise, shine;
for your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
2.  For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
and deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you.
And His glory will be seen upon you.
3.  The Gentiles shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising.
4.  Lift up your eyes all around, and see:
They all gather together, they come to you;
Your sons shall come from afar,
and your daughters shall be nursed at your side.
5.  Then you shall see and become radiant,
and your heart shall swell with joy;
Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,
the wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.
6.  The multitude of camels shall cover your land,
the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah;
All those from Sheba shall come'
They shall bring GOLD and INCENSE.
And they shall proclaim the praises of the Lord."

Question to consider:

How does the Presence of the Holy One manifest itself in our life today? And how will we, when He is revealed to us, like the Wise Men, express our joy at seeing that "star"?  



Sermon Notes from FUMC Interlachen, FL., Pastor A.C. Myers, 1/6/2019

Please Note : I want to repeat this disclaimer here...the notes, outline, and content included here are based upon my own personal understanding of the message that was being given. I am not attempting to completely quote or reproduce this message or any other message I've shared previously. Just as each person reading these notes may glean insights and thoughts that seem to directly apply to one's own situation and interpretation, my own delivery of these messages is skewed by my hearing and translation of what is being said. Some may read my notes here and wonder if they were hearing the same message as I...and I say, God speaks to each of us as He wills...there are things He is trying to get across to each individual that may be entirely different than what the person sitting next to you in the pew is needing to hear... That is how the Holy Spirit works! He knows what we need to hear and how to apply it to our hearts. So it is with that understanding that I present these sermon notes to you.


8 comments:

  1. Oh, how I love that passage from Isaiah, Pamela! And I love that your pastor encouraged all of you to put feet to your faith. Let follow that star each and every day as we seek to do the will of Jesus and walk in His footsteps.
    Blessings!

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  2. I love the book of Isaiah. Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful week.

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  3. Interesting to contemplate that God knew they would soon need to escape and He had kings bring them provisions.

    "Where is the Light of the Star leading you now?"

    Powerful question!

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  4. In my reading somewhere recently I was impressed with how the gifts that the Wise Men brought to Jesus would be such a great blessing for Mary and Joseph. God is always faithful to provide, yes?

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  5. I think liturgy is extremely important as it keeps these things cemented in the mind. Without it so much gets lost along the way.
    Lovely post my friend.

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  6. This month,I am hearing sermons on Creation. . . Not Evolution. The one verse that sticks in my mind is,"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:5

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  7. Pamela, thank you for sharing this timely post. It's interesting to learn about things like this. We can learn so much from the Magi--they left their home and took a journey full of great risks, yet they KNEW they must go and see the newborn King of the Jews!

    Interestingly enough, the Magi learned from the prophet Daniel and heeded that teaching and wisdom. Sadly, the Jewish religious leaders missed it completely! It's amazing that the very people the Jewish religious leaders would reject, dismiss out of hand got it--they understood the significance and followed through!

    Blessings!

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  8. "Arise, shine, for thy light has come." Isaiah 60:1 This was the 'watchword' for a group I was in as a child, Girls Auxiliary ,in the Southern Baptist denomination. To this day, the verse often comes to my mind when I am climbing out of bed in the mornings!

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