Sunday readings January/February 2016

Sunday 3 January
Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
Isaiah 60.1-6
Psalm 71
Ephesians 3.2-3a, 5-6
Matthew 2.1-12

An epiphany is a sudden and dramatic revelation of God. Today’s is caught up in the very familiar nativity image as displayed in the crib scenes in our churches and homes. The familiarity can be, however, an invitation to us to go deeper by reflecting on the specific significance of the various parts that make up that scene. From the first chapter of the prophet Isaiah we have the ox and the ass – which in their original context offer a challenge to those who fail to respond to the God who is present to them. Luke gives us the stable and also the shepherds, with the Old Testament echoes of David the shepherd king and pointing also to the promises of Jeremiah and Ezekiel that God will be the shepherd of God’s people, as well as the actual shepherds themselves who represent Luke’s concern for marginalised people. And then Matthew gives us the star and the magi particularly associated with today’s feast.

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