Sunday 6th January, 2019 (Covenant Sunday)
Hymn of meditation: PH 119
Unto us a Child is born now,
Unto us a Son is given.
On His shoulder rests all power,
His Name shall be as foretold.
Wonderful, Almighty Father,
Counselor, the Mighty God,
Everlasting Prince of Peace is,
We have in this child of God.
Today marks the first Sunday of the year. It is also observed as the Epiphany of the Lord.
What is Epiphany?
The word Epiphany comes from the Greek word which means “appearance” or “manifestation”. It is used to refer to various occasions on which Christ was revealed to various groups of people at His birth, the coming of the magi/wisemen, His baptism and the wedding at Cana, as well as when He will be revealed at His second coming.
Basically, Epiphany is observed as the celebration of the manifestation of Jesus the Christ. For us, this day is also chosen to reaffirm our part of the covenant we have with our God; so it is our Covenant Sunday.
What is Covenant?
- An agreement between two parties
- It is based on trust and commitment
- Characterised by mutual self-sacrifice
On this occasion, the theme for our mediation is “Christ, the light to all men”. Today, we are celebrating the revelation of Christ to all mankind and as such, the revelation of Christ as the light and the means of salvation for mankind.
“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
In our third reading, we are told that the magi/wisemen found His star in the East and went to Jerusalem to search for Him so that they might worship Him. It is a fact that, these wise men were not Jews and yet they took interest in looking for the king of the Jews to worship Him. This confirms the fact that, Jesus indeed was born not only for the Jews but for all mankind.
In the verse 6 of Ephesians 3, Paul stated that this revelation is for all:
“This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.”
We are all therefore partakers of the promise of God in Christ Jesus. This Christ is the light of the world, the light to all mankind.
“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4-5)
Christ is the light for all mankind. It is only Christ who can lead us through and out of this dark world we live in. Surprisingly, people like the darkness more than the light and Jesus gave the reason for this.
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”
In our first passage in Isaiah, we are told that darkness has covered the whole earth and indeed thick darkness is over the people; but what is this darkness we are referring to? I will like to define this darkness as “anything that conceals the truth”
- THE WORK OF EVIL FORCES:
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
- DECEPTIONS: We are being deceived at all fronts. We follow teachings that are not the truth and they lead us astray. With the revelations of Christ (the Light) in His Word, we still follow the teachings of men and traditions that oppose the truth.
We have a choice to make, whether to allow this light to shine forth in us or to love the darkness and continue to stay in darkness. The wise men from the East chose to follow the star they saw to look for the source of that bright light. They could have decided to ignore the brightness of that star but they chose to follow it.
The star shines only in the night. It is only seen in the darkness of the night many miles from the earth. Isaiah calls on us and urges us to arise and let the light that has been placed in us through Christ shine.
Beloved in the Lord, wise men still seek Jesus. I will like to urge all of you to seek Jesus, the light in this dark world and allow him to shine in us to change the world.
May the Lord bless us all.