Epiphany means “showing” ..the showing of the baby Jesus to three kings /three wise men .. On Christmas teatime, I got an email from a family I know, taken on Christmas morning “from us to you with Christmas love” & a photo of the two young sons one 7 one 5 both standing next to their Christmas tree ; they were surrounded by wrapping paper & all the presents Father Christmas had delivered to them ..both boys had beaming smiles.. younger one had a red nose on & reindeer antlers older one has special Christmas t shirt on..on it were words “Rudolph made me do it “ .. a lovely reminder of Christmas & all the happy times we had ..& the message on t shirt reminds us of the times at Christmas & in the holidays when we got up to mischief & trouble by doing what we shouldn’t have been doing.. & when we get caught out, & have to admit to it, we all look to blame Rudolph don’t we? “it was my little brothers fault, or my big sister made me do it!” ..it always seems to be someone elses fault, & never mine
..a moment now to be honest in our hearts with ourselves..& to own up to Jesus for the times it wasn’t Rudolph’s fault but mine.. & say & mean words Mum Dad Jesus & your teachers love to hear & receive , greatest gift you can give them ..”I am sorry”
..for not realising that a real smile at Christmas is meant to be given away every day.. ; Lord have mercy ..for having ears as big as Rudolph's, but still not listening to Mum Dad or my teacher.. ; Christ have mercy ..for blaming someone else, getting them into trouble, when often it is my fault.. ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
.the three wise men each brought a gift to the manger..gold [ wealth ] frankincense [ holy smoke which shows how prayer is offered /goes up to God ] & myrrh [ special ointment which brings healing ]..so three gifts you can bring to the baby Jesus..your wealth not in terms of money but your talents what you are best at..what Mr Jakobs or Miss Smith would go round their class & speak about the special gift each of their class brings to the rest..reminds me of our Advent book we shared “the boy the mole the fox & the horse” & what gift do you think each of them brought to the others ?..boy brought his questions..keen to learn..mole loved cake he brought his appetite..his hunger to do better.. fox hurt by someone at some time was mostly silent..a lovely gift in itself to be quiet to be a good listener to be generous in letting other people speak..& the horse the biggest in group of four but the gentlest..a special gift in any class to be the gentlest.. three kings three wise men & I would like to share with you three very small stories & ask you to tell me which gift you see coming out of each story.. first story; listen with your Rudolph big ears open please..
“the time was twenty five to four. A train creaked into the station. One passenger, a small koala bear, fur singed, a battered suitcase. Old Fox was there to meet him. They embraced for a long time, but didn’t speak. There were really no words.” Who was bringing a gift?..how good are you at being there like Old Fox to meet & hug someone who has been hurt..to show your love where really there is no need for words..
“the Wolf had been reading about everyone’s achievements all morning. He couldn’t think of anything he had done of any importance & he felt a great failure. But then Old Fox came to talk to him & explained what was important again & he felt a little better about himself.” What do you think was the important thing that the Old Fox reminded the Wolf about?..it isn’t achievements that matter it is how we look after one another that is important..to do our best but also help those who feel a failure..as if their best never seems to be good enough..how? by praying for them, asking Jesus to be on their side..the importance of prayer..
“the Old Fox is furious. On his train from London to York, he rescued a small Pine Martin from a vicious attack. The Pine Martin was shaken & distraught, so Fox reported the incident, then invited him home for piping-hot macaroni cheese & a strong cup of tea.” ..gift was first of all for Old Fox to report the matter..to Mum or Dad or to a teacher..& then to invite the Pine Martin boy or girl home to tea..a hot meal that can heal a hurt..
Gold in first story was to be generous in giving time to someone who has been hurt.. Frankincense in second story is to help those who never feel they are good enough by saying a prayer to Jesus for them..the importance of prayer.. Myrrh special ointment in third story is to share the story of the hurt with an adult & then invite the wounded hurt person home to tea..
..three gifts three showings of Jesus in your class this term please..to love, to pray & to heal.. ..& some classwork for you when you get back to School..are you listening with your reindeer ears wide open? ..if you had to choose to be the star to lead the wise men to the manger, or to be the camel to carry them to the stable, which would you want to be?..& why ?