The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Opinion

January 11, 2014

INSTANT MESSAGE: Have you seen the light?

Matthew 2: 10-12 (NIV): 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

This is the part of the Christmas story about the mysterious Magi who came and worshiped Jesus and presented him with gifts. Many churches tell this story on "Epiphany Sunday", which falls around the 12th-day of Christmas. This is a centuries-old tradition that dates back to at least 350 A.D.

An Epiphany is a revelation. It is when a person sees something, as though a light were shining on it to reveal it to him. It's an "Oh, I see" moment. Since we are not sure who the Magi were, they represent the peoples of the earth. Matthew tells us they were from the east and from another country.

That's all we know for sure. I personally believe they were Jews who had remained in Babylon after the exile, but I can't completely prove this. Because they came from a distant land to worship the Christ, we celebrate the epiphany that God's gift of salvation is for all people.

So, have you seen the light? Have you had the epiphany that God loves you and wants to save you?

And they worshiped Jesus when they found him. That should be our response as well. They bowed to him and presented him with gifts – gifts that reveal who he was: gold is a gift for a king, incense is a gift for a God, and myrrh is a gift for a Savior. Myrrh was used to anoint a dead person and would have been a strange gift to give anyone other than a person who came to die for us. True worship always involves sacrifice and they understood this.

We see in this story that evil was at work to thwart God's plans, but evil did not prevail. God is in control and his plans are always fulfilled. Now it's up to us to see the light and understand this.

————

Autographed copies of Craig's fiction novel “The Dead Peasants File” are for sale at Blaser's Books in downtown Palestine. Harris is the pastor at Brushy Creek and Mt. Vernon United Methodist churches.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • 7-26-simon-slaw.jpg Cooking with Simon: Stomp grapes and eat Texas food

    If you’re picking up the newspaper on Saturday, you still have a chance to come out to Sabor a Pasion and celebrate the grape harvest at the 2nd Annual Charity Grape Stomp.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Two decades of storytelling

    For the past 20 years, I have covered everything under the sun while working as community editor at the Palestine Herald-Press. I have covered festivals, banquets, graduations, fires, wrecks, elections, giant vegetables, you name it, I probably wrote about it.

    July 26, 2014

  • At the Movies: 'Begin Again' — Fresh tale creates appeal

    Some people film big pictures.  Others do small pictures.  Writer-director John Carney makes small pictures. 

    July 26, 2014

  • IMG_1373.jpeg COOKING WITH SIMON: Summer produce brings recipe inspiration

    Chefs are always recreating their menus and finding new inspiration for recipes. People ask me how where my new ideas come from and what I do to get inspired. The answer – mowing the lawn – and, by the way, I have a lot of lawn, vineyard and fields to mow.

    July 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • Swiss Chard  & Peach Salad COOKING WITH SIMON: Garden vegetables ready to harvest

    Last month, I was invited to cook for a group of clients at a fishing lodge in Alaska. It was quite an experience – beautiful scenery, amazing salmon, halibut, and great accessibility to some of the best fishing in the world.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • watermelon COOKING WITH SIMON: Red, white and watermelon

    Happy 4th of July weekend! On every street corner the fruit of Texas is being sold from the back of old trucks and roadside produce stands.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • COLUMN: Musings about life and the pursuit of happiness

    Yesterday was July 4th, a time we celebrate independence and the truths that all men are created equal and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” to quote Mr. Jefferson.

    July 5, 2014

  • MOVIE REVIEW: 22 Jump Street

    I should have known better.  Just like “Legally Blonde” and “Dumb and Dumber,” a comedy based on a premise as opposed to one based on truly funny characters merged with a clever situation should never have a sequel.

    July 3, 2014

  • 6-28--SIMON-Lamb-Sliders.jpg Cooking with Simon: Celebrate July 4th with lamb burgers

    Being born in one country and raised in another can bring a bit of confusion to one’s life. And then to find yourself living in a third country as an adult, is one reason this kiwi is all messed up.

    June 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Editor's Notebook: Kids can create their own summer fun

    Things are so different today than when I was a kid. A recent conversation with my 9-year-old son reinforced my belief.

    June 28, 2014