Rev. Leo M. Goodman III
"Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish, I wish tonight." Do you remember wishing upon stars?
I once asked an old friend if she had any wishes or dreams, and she said that she didn't. As a matter of fact, she felt as if her dreams didn't ever come true. I felt sad. I felt tongue-tied; I didn't know what to say. I suppose my question to you is to ask you if you still dream. Do you? Do you believe that dreams come true? Or do you believe that dreams only come true in children's stories?
I believe in dreams. I also believe that dreams do come true. They have in my life, and they have for our ancestors in faith. Our celebration of the Epiphany today is the celebration of a dream come true, for the king of kings has come into the world and made salvation known to all peoples. All people of good will who seek the light can find the light of light that those first wise men found.
Matthew is teaching his Jewish audience that all the hopes of the nation have been more than fulfilled in Jesus. All nations can come to Christ, for all have been invited to the covenant of love established by Christís life, death and resurrection. Jesus is the light to the nations. Jesus is the light of the world. Christ will draw all nations to the knowledge of God's love.
We can dream. Dream of the fullness of life. Dream of a world where all will be reconciled by God's love. Dream of serving God and our brothers and sisters in joy and hope. We can dream of a better world, a world where we are called to be a light.
There is a delightful and inspiring tale told by Henry Van Dyke, called the Story of the Other Wise Man. In this story Artaban, a fourth wise man also sets out to pay homage and bring treasures to the new King born in Bethlehem. However on his journey to Bethlehem he is delayed time and again by people in need. He gives of his treasure in meeting the needs of those he comes in contact with on his journey. 33 years later he arrives in Jerusalem having spent his life searching for the messiah following the light he had first seen.
The earth trembled; it seemed too late. A heavy tile, shaken from a roof fell and struck the now old man on the temple. A quiet voice was heard, and the old man's lips began to move, as if in answer. "Not so, my Lord, for when did I see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did I see you a stranger and took you in or naked and clothe you? When did I see you sick or in prison and come to you? 33 years have I looked for you; but I have never seen your face, nor ministered to you, my King."
He stopped speaking and again the sweet voice came to him... "I tell you, inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least you did it for me." A calm radiance of wonder and joy lighted the pale face of Artaban, like the first ray of dawn on a snowy mountain peak. One long, last breath of relief exhaled gently from his lips. His journey was ended. His treasures were accepted. His dream of paying homage to the Lord was fulfilled. The Other Wise Man had found the King of Kings. "
Like the wise men, we as Christians must seek with a passion our Lord Jesus Christ. We must be willing to journey, to fight the good fight, as St. Paul says. We come to this celebration with our gifts to present to the Lord all that we have, all that we are, and all that we will be. And like the Other Wise Man we must follow the light whereever it leads us in loving and caring for our brothers and sisters. Then when our journey is done we will know that our gifts of talent, treasure, and time have been accepted by our King. All are called to be part of God's plan; all are called to be part of the Lord's banquet. All are called to be children of God. Dreams do come true.