Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Three Kings

“The Gift of the Magi” to the Hospital People
Three Kings is the also the celebration of Epiphany, a moment for us to recognize the appearance or manifestation of God. After Christmas, when the Messiah came to this world, have we – as hospital people – come to recognize that God appeared before us in the flesh?
Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12
Key Verse: “they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage” (v.11)
Focus of the Lesson:
Let us do away with the trivialities of the story of the three kings or wise men. Instead, from the scripture, let us receive the gifts brought by the Wise Men not only for the baby Jesus but also for us. First is the recognition that God has come to us in this world. Second, the commitment of the wise men to go to Jesus, not to ask for anything, but only to give honor. Third, their desire to give something special to Jesus.
Goals in study:
1. To learn from the attitude of the wise men
2. To recognize the presence of God in this present world
3. To intentionally see the imago dei in others

Epiphany comes from the Greek word meaning appearance. Epiphany marks the season where we are reminded that God has manifested to us in this world, thru the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas. The scripture tells us of the wise men who came to pay homage to the baby Jesus. The story is replete of many lessons that we ought to learn. Let us look beyond the trivial and focus on the attitude and the heart of the wise men who came to see the baby Jesus.
The key word in the scripture lesson is “knelt down and pay homage.” Kneeling is a sign of respect and worship. This is the same reason why we kneel in church. In the Eastern Rite tradition, kneeling and prostration are given great significance during worship. More than that is the attitude of our hearts when we come before the Lord. We may not “kneel” physically bur our hearts should. During prayer and worship, paying homage to our God is common sense. Sadly, whenever we come to pray and worship, we come ready with our commandments for God and our wish list. It seems, God is our servant ready for our instructions. Yes, we can and should come before God for our needs. Yet, we must remember that God already knows us and what is in our hearts. Besides, God knows what is best for us. In this season of Epiphany, we should recognize and come to God properly as our GOD. And we must come ready to give our gifts, not the other way around.
Sharing the Scriptures:
1. The image of God is seen in our neighbors. How can we see our colleagues and patients as the image of God?
2. This “three kings day,” what are concrete things we can do as our gifts of worship to Jesus?