01062019 Epiphany Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

“We find the perfect light!”

 

01062019 Epiphany Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

January 6, 2019
“We find the perfect light!”
Sermon Audio

During our last Contemporary Service, the Advent Wreath hung from the rafters.  It showed our journey through the season of Advent with each candle being lit that ultimately ended with our Christmas Celebration.  What was telling was that the data projector used to display the hymns for worship, including the lessons illumined the candles that were lit.  But what was interesting was that the candles, as bright as they were cast no shadow. It wasn’t a trick of lighting, nor of the oil filled candle.  It is the very nature of the flame and the light. This morning as we gather to celebrate Epiphany, “We find the perfect light!”

Today, “We find the perfect light” Jesus Christ!  He is the Light of the World that came to show us and to be the way for all of us to enter heaven.  The Wise Men millenia ago came with gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh to aid Jesus parents, Mary and Joseph on their journey to Egypt and ultimately to Nazareth.  These gifts were fit for a King, yet gifts that foretold not only Jesus Christ Office as Prophet, Priest and King, but connect we who gather here today with the sacrifice that only Jesus was able to fulfill on the Cross of Calvary.  For it was in the manger that the Shepherds, the Wise Men and we who gather here today, “We find the perfect light!”

Unlike the flames on the candles that burn on our altar signifying God’s presence,  the Christ Candle that moved to be among we the people of God, or even the flames that illumined the pages of our bulletins on Christmas Eve as we sang, Silent Night.  Today, Epiphany, “We find the perfect light” Jesus Christ.  He is the light that Isaiah from our Old Testament lesson points to when we believe, “the glory of the Lord has risen upon you”.  Jesus Christ is the ‘good news’ that heralds the salvation of mankind.  Three gifts brought and laid at His feet, clearly point to the future He would fulfill, a destiny that was certain to cost Him everything.  Yet even Isaiah foretold the “darkness [that] shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples”.   It is a darkness we still see and experience today manifest in sin in our lives that we cannot overcome.  For though sin is part of our nature, and we cannot overcome it there is one Who can.

We have a captain, a hero, a Savior, Jesus Christ, to save us.  The Psalmist David points to Him when he wrote what Jesus does, “May He defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy”.  This is our Savior, Jesus Christ, Who “From oppression and violence He redeems their life”.  This is the promise He offers us through our baptism and the promises of the Gospel of our salvation that even Paul writes of to the Ephesians.  Paul by inspiration of the Holy Spirit reveals to the Ephesians and for us today “riches of Christ, 9 and to bring light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages”.  The mystery we celebrate today on this Epiphany when “We find the perfect light” Jesus the Christ!

Yet, why would three men, bearing gifts, traverse afar, be a reason for our celebration today?  Simply, because Who we find, none other than Jesus Christ is the key that unlocks salvation for each and every one of us.  Jesus Christ is the key that binds us together and through His life, death and resurrection, looses each of us and offers us the fulfillment of a mystery that knows no equal.  If we doubt that “We find the perfect light” we then demonstrate we do not know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and salvation will not be ours.  However, with our belief of Who was found in the manger by the shepherds, presented with gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh by the Three Wise Men, the door to heaven is unbarred for us on this Epiphany.  Today in our sight, in our midst, with our singing, we herald on this Epiphany as we sing “We Three Kings of Orient Are”, “We find the perfect light” Jesus Christ!  AMEN.