"A star burned in the sky more brightly than all the others; its light was indescribable, its newness marvelous, and all the other stars, along with the sun and the moon, formed a chorus around this star, the light of which reached farther than that of any other.... Then all magic was destroyed, and every bond wrought by wickedness was broken, and the ancient kingdom was razed. When God appeared in human form to bring the newness of eternal life, his counsel began to be fulfilled."
-Ignatius of Antioch, Second century.
"...In this strange land, amid these unfamiliar faces,
there is a way to see the Epiphany:
the way of the magi, of the strangers who came in from the night.
It is to see ourselves and to recognize our condition
in these otherwise alien people.
It is to know ourselves compacted with them in a common destiny,
the destiny of children marked for death,
heirs of the promise through the Child marked for death.
Before such mutual recognition, all estrangement pales.
Whatever our differences in life, we are bound together in death:
that is our common lot.
And this is the promise we rejoice in with them:
that with them we are co-heirs of life in Jesus Christ,
the Child marked for death...."
From "A Sermon for Epiphany" by Mark Searle, Worship 58:4
Herod, why this impiety?
Can Christ awake anxiety?
He'll let your little kingdom live
who has immortal crowns to give.
Icon: Adoration of the Magi, Historic Museum in Sanok, Poland