Sunday 6th January 2019
The Epiphany

Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12; Psalm 72:1-7,10-14

Today's readings obviously focus on the revelation of the Christ child as God and King, exemplified through the gifts brought by the Eastern Magi. This is echoed through the words of the Psalm and also in the sentiments of St Paul as he reflects with the Ephesian Christians on the "mysteries of the Gospel". The words of the Psalm root our vision of Christ's Kingship in the experience of the Old Testament people of God, and it is through this we are offered a vital link between these readings and our own working lives.

In many respects we could describe the Psalm as the "job description" for the king. He is called to be a just ruler; to enable prosperity; to protect the weak and vulnerable; to generally be a beneficial presence and to be an ambassador who engaged rulers from other lands to recognise and celebrate his kingship. As each of these elements is listed, it occurs in a context of asking God for the help and ability to fulfil this calling. The King seeks the enabling of God to successfully perform the duties of his position.

At the outset of a New Year, congregation members might reflect on their own "job descriptions" seeking God's help to fulfil their role in society in a wholesome and Godly way. We might also recognise that this declaration of God's Kingship sets the context for all that is done within the world of business and commerce. Just as the Old Testament King was called to seek prosperity, well-being etc. with Godís help and according to God's ordinances, those who seek the same ends in today's world are called to an equivalent accountability.