When was the last time you had an ‘aha’ experience?

Published 12:31 pm Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Do you know there is a word for those “aha” experiences? It is epiphany. When we have an epiphany, we discover something new, something exciting. As we begin this New Year, I hope we have some aha experiences regarding our understanding of God. You might say that you already know as much about God as you’re ever going to know. Some of us think that we don’t have any more growing to do. That would be our loss if it turns out to be true.

Famous Bible teacher J. Vernon McGee once stated, “The highest desire that can possess any human heart is a longing to see God.” That is the meaning of Epiphany. That is the desire that drove the wise men to Bethlehem. Epiphany is the 12th day after Christmas. According to tradition this is the day we celebrate the arrival of the wise men to worship the one who was born King of the Jews. The wise men followed a star until it came to the place where the young child was. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down to worship him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. It is a wonderful story of our faith.

More than 2,019 years ago (give or take) a tiny baby was born in Bethlehem of Judea. Epiphany recalls the arrival of the Wise Men to visit that Christ child. Henry Van Dyke wrote one of the most famous fictional accounts of the Wise Men in 1896, which he called The Other Wise Man. In this story, there’s a fourth Wiseman who searched for years for the Christ child, but was never able to catch up with the others. This wise man had three jewels, a gift of great wealth, which he intended to give to the newborn king. But in his journey to find the newborn king he came across people who had great needs. He could not pass them by without trying to help. He ended up using the three jewels he intended to offer the Christ child to care for the needs of these people he found in want. This Fourth Magi searched for Jesus for the rest of his life, only to realize at the end of his life that he had both found Him and worshipped Him each time he gave himself and his gift to the one who was in need.

“Aha” moments, or epiphany can help shape our New Year. Some “aha” questions: What do you need to do to draw closer to God? What “gifts” do you have to bring Jesus? What do you need to leave in 2018 to have a blessed 2019? The answer to these might make you say “aha!”

Rev. John Moxley can be reached at jmoxley1@juno.com.