Sunday 8th January 2017
On Sunday 8th January 2017 we will be celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany; the visit of the Magi (the three kings or wise men) to see the Baby Jesus, bringing with them gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. There are three services on this day – at 0800, 0930 and 1800. The celebrant and preacher at the 0930 Parish Communion is the Venerable Alan Jeans (pictured), the Archdeacon of Sarum. He writes:
I’ll be preaching on the Epiphany – and the immeasurable gift of God’s Son to the whole world, and the three myths of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, as gifts marking the divinity, sacrifice and suffering that God in Christ gives and receives on behalf of us all.
The visit of the wise men is told St Matthew’s Gospel:
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: “And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.” ’
Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.