Guided by the Eastern Star

Guided by the Eastern Star

Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12 (NRSVue)

Christmas and Epiphany are the bookends of Christmastide. Jesus didn’t receive his presents from the Magi until Epiphany, which we celebrate 12 days after Christmas (we actually add a few days to the twelve by recognizing it on Sunday). Once we celebrate Epiphany, you can now “officially” in a “liturgically correct” manner pack up your Magi figurines from the nativity set and put them back in storage for next Christmas.  : )

Epiphany also marks the beginning of a new era in history when God’s promises are extended not just to the Jews but to the Gentiles as well. So it’s on this day we especially celebrate that the good news is for everybody. Christ the Messiah’s power and authority transcend all religious and ethnic boundaries. Christ was laid in a manger, but you can’t put him in box. And so we hold on to another important message: God is free to work in surprising ways with surprising people, like the Magi, who are wonderful examples to us on how to follow God’s lead and offer our gifts and lives at the feet of Jesus. Let’s follow God’s lead, Immanuel!


January 7, 2024
Epiphany Sunday

  •  8:30 am – Alternative Worship Service Bulletin (click) 
  • 11:00 am – Traditional Worship Service Bulletin (click)

All of Immanuel’s Worship Service Videos are available on our YouTube Channel.
All of Immanuel’s Sermons are available in our Library of Sermons.

Sermon Art: “The Three Magi Are Called to Herod,” 5th century mosaic, Santa Maria Maggiore


Bible Study Questions – Matthew 2:1-12 (NRSVue)

  1. Matthew 2:1-12 is a story of two kings: the King of Jerusalem (Herod) and the King of the Jews (Jesus). How are these two kings different?
  2. What are some similar themes that come up in Moses birth (Exodus 1 and 2) and Jesus’ birth in this passage (Matthew 2 and 3)?
  3. What do you think King Herod was thinking and feeling when the Magi came to him inquiring of another king, not King Herod himself?
  4. Why do you think that Herod and all Jerusalem were afraid that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem? Why didn’t they go, but the Magi did?
  5. What can we learn about seeking God from the Magi?
  6. Epiphany teaches us an important lesson about how God can move in mysterious ways with mysterious people like Magi. How can we apply this message today with those who don’t fit into Christian boxes?
  7. What are you looking for in your search for God? What gifts can you offer Christ? Will you leave your Jerusalem and venture out to your Bethlehem to see Christ with your own eyes? Does he bring you great joy or great fear?




Other Sermons In This Series

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