Epiphany – 6th of January

Traditionally this is the celebration of the Magi arriving in Bethlehem to meet Jesus. Although almost all nativity plays have the Magi arriving at the birth of Jesus along with the shepherd, the Bible story records the Magi arriving when Jesus was around two and lived in a house in Bethlehem. We only encounter the Magi in the reading from Matthew.

The term ‘Magi’ shared the root word for ‘magic’ or ‘magician’, as well as “Magus’, who were believed to be a priestly class in the Zoroastrian tradition. They were astronomers, probably scientists, and to those who didn’t understand the science these folks practiced, they seemed like magicians. The ancient world commonly decided things were magic and mysterious if they couldn’t understand or explain them. Science was still relatively unknown even amongst the wealthy and well educated.

The term ‘kings’ is not in the Gospel of Matthew, but it does refer to a passage in Isaiah that talked about ‘kings from the east’. Isaiah was talking about Persian rulers centuries before Jesus’ birth, but those who read the early stories of Jesus made the connection.

The tradition of three gifts, three ‘wisemen’ and three named men comes from various times in history, but the Bible only mentions three types of gifts, not how many of each they presented. There is no number given of how many were present to visit Jesus, however, caravans were large groups of people who travelled together for safety, so we can be very sure there were more than three visitors, and they were probably a mix of women and men.

This day is also known as “Old Christmas”. This term goes back to the 18th century when the British Parliament adopted the Gregorian calendar, and effectively moving Christmas up twelve days to December 25th. Those who believed the Julian calendar was more accurate continued to use January 6th as the proper day of Christmas, thus the term ‘old’ was used. Some Christian traditions around the world still celebrate the birth of Jesus on this date. Those belonging to many Eastern Orthodox traditions, recognize January 6th as ‘Christmas Eve’, and celebrate on January 7th.

Sunday Worship – January 9, 2022: Epiphany Sunday


Like the Magi who greeted the Christ child in Bethlehem, help us to see the miracles You set before us, to lift up our eyes to the riches that You spread before us each day, and to rejoice in the mystery of Your presence flowing among us and around us and through us.

Come and worship.


Confession & Words of Assurance

God, You share with us words of hope, words of Good News.
But sometimes we are unable to hear them because the source is too familiar.
You call us to share the Good News with those around us.
But sometimes we are unable to share, because the people know us too well.
You encourage us to send messengers to other places where they will be heard better.
But we can be jealous, wanting the Good News to be for us, not them.

In the multitude of ways we can and have subverted Your message of freedom and healing, in all the ways we have kept the Jubilee year from happening,
we have left the path of true wisdom and call upon Your Grace to lead us back on track. 

This is the time of God’s favour, God’s grace continues to proclaim release to the captives, sight to the blind, Good News to the poor and freedom to the oppressed. 

We live as loved, forgiven and free people 

through the grace of God!

Story Time



Coming Of The Magi

Matthew 2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the territory of Judea during the rule of King Herod, magi came from the east to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We’ve seen his star in the east, and we’ve come to honor him.”

When King Herod heard this, he was troubled, and everyone in Jerusalem was troubled with him. He gathered all the chief priests and the legal experts and asked them where the Christ was to be born. They said, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what the prophet wrote:

You, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
        by no means are you least among the rulers of Judah,
            because from you will come one who governs,
            who will shepherd my people Israel.

Then Herod secretly called for the magi and found out from them the time when the star had first appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search carefully for the child. When you’ve found him, report to me so that I too may go and honor him.” When they heard the king, they went; and look, the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stood over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. 11 They entered the house and saw the child with Mary his mother. Falling to their knees, they honored him. Then they opened their treasure chests and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 Because they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by another route.




God of eternal compassion, as we remember the gifts that fill our lives, the injustice and pain of a broken world fills our hearts with sorrow.

We pray that You will give those who govern in every land Your justice and Your righteousness. May they defend the cause of the weakest of the people, give deliverance to those in need, and make an end to all oppression.

We pray that You will bring healing to those who are in pain, comfort those who mourn, and give vision to those who cannot see the glory that You spread around us.

We pray for those who are near to us, and for those who are far away; we pray for friends and family, and for those whom we have never met; we pray for our own needs, and for those who cannot pray for themselves.

All of these prayers and so may more we pull together and pray the prayer tradition has taught us…

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.



Go now as a light to the nations.
Honour the Lord;
preach what you know of the risen Christ,
and fulfil all righteousness.

And may God strengthen you and bless you with peace;
May Christ Jesus bring forth justice for you and among you;
And may the Holy Spirit alight on you
and affirm you as God’s beloved ones.
We go in peace to love and serve the Lord!

Kids Korner: Visit of the Magi (January 9th)

Read Matthew 2:1-12 with your family.

Did you realize that Matthew’s story does not have the shepherds or the angels announcing Jesus’ birth? Sometime, a long time ago, the church started putting the stories of Matthew 2 and Luke 2 together to make the story we all know about Jesus’ birth.

Matthew tells us that the Magi didn’t arrive until Jesus was a toddler or preschooler, and that Jesus was living in a house in Bethlehem with his parents.

And who were these Magi? Well, we aren’t completely sure but Bible scholars think they were well educated people with some authority in the religious community in Persian (modern Iraq), who spent their time studying early science including astronomy. They knew about the Hebrew prophesy of a new Messiah, and they read in the stats that it was time. They started their journey to Bethlehem, travelling in a caravan with many more people than just three, and arrived in time to celebrate Jesus as a small child.