The Arrival

The wise men were wise (magi) because they could see in Jesus the marks of royalty, of service and sacrifice – the servant king.

Welcome to the 4th boy in the Knight household – Thor, the dog of thunder! Thor is a 12 month old black labrador. He works for the Guide Dog Association and has been earmarked as a stud dog. Our job is to keep Thor as a family pet but maintain his discipline, his weight and his health in general. We will, on several occasions, take him to ‘work’ at the Guide Dog Breeding Centre near Leamington Spa. No doubt you will be meeting Thor very soon.

Thor, named after the Norse god of thunder… or the dog of thunder!

Epiphany is a time for new arrivals. The focus of the Christian celebration is of the Three Kings “travelling afar.” Although the historical authenticity of the Magi’s inclusion in the infancy narratives is dubious, many recognise the hand of God in the story. Jesus, God’s own Son, has been born in poverty and has been greeted by animals and the tenderers of those animals, some local shepherds. The arrival of God made flesh seeks a greater public appeal. Very soon after his birth, Jesus attracts the attention of the local ruler – King Herod. The 3 kings bring further recognition that Jesus’ arrival is more than a ‘good news story’ – this is the good news of God.

The word ‘arrival’ brings with it a sense of occasion. It’s almost like the opening of the curtain, or the first beat of the conductor’s baton. Arrival brings anticipation, promise and hope. So it is with us in this season of Epiphany. We desire for the kingdom of God to be brought closer. In Jesus we recognise the king of the kingdom.

“This is the season of recognition, of understanding, of seeing.”

The wise men were wise (magi) because they could see in Jesus the marks of royalty, of service and sacrifice – the servant king.

As we travel through Epiphany make a special point of looking more deeply into the mystery of God made flesh. Perhaps we can look again at the meaning of ‘arrival’ and what that might mean in our lives? I am especially drawn to the sense of welcome and hospitality that we give new arrivals at church. There is a desire to share our faith with shepherds and kings (as well as animals). So, we prepare for our arrival in heaven – will there be fanfares or will it be a quiet walk through a beautiful garden? Heaven knows!

Gavin

Learn more about the Epiphany and the company of those who accompanied Jesus this Sunday at St Michael & All Angels, Summertown, 8am, 10am for the All Age Epiphany Eucharist and 6.30pm for Taizé prayer.

No matter where you are on the journey of faith, you are always welcome at St Michael & All Angels! See what’s going on by clicking here which will transport you to our website.

Author: Gavin Knight

The Revd Gavin Knight has been the Vicar of St Michael & All Angels, Summertown in the Oxford Diocese since September 2011. After serving his title at St Alphege, Solihull, Gavin became parish priest of St Andrew's Fulham Fields in London. He moved to Wales in 2005 becoming Chaplain to Monmouth School. He is married to Jo, a clinical psychologist, and they have three sons.