Daily Reading for January 7
Epiphany—the shining forth of Christ to the Gentiles, to the wider world beyond the chosen people of the Old Testament, the Old Covenant. . . .The Gentiles who find the great light are those who come a long way from where they started and are not afraid of making fools of themselves and, finally, are ready to return to their homes by another way, a way that runs clean counter to the plans of King Herod and the rest of the powers that be. I think there is a parallel between St Matthew’s story of the magi and St John’s story of the coming of the Greeks just before Jesus’ death. They too represented the coming of the Gentiles to his light. And his words to them were: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies it bears a rich harvest. He who loves his life loses it.”
The glory that shines forth to lighten the Gentiles is the radiance of the cross. If we hope to see our nation, our civilization, turn again towards that light then we, who feel the pull of it, must go back by that other way which is the way of the cross—“a stumbling block to his own people the Jews, and folly to the powerful Gentile nations, but to those who are called, to as many as receive him, the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
From “Strangers with Camels” in The Incarnate God by John V. Taylor (London: Continuum, 2004).