Our thought for this season of Epiphany, and indeed for the whole of this New Year of 2019, comes from a sermon on Matthew 2.1–13 preached in Chelmsford Cathedral on 6 January 2019 by the Rt Rev John Perumbalath, recently appointed Area Bishop of Bradwell, in Chelmsford diocese:
“… the wise men in our story are a persisting lot. They were probably not very clear about what they were heading for. They had a sign but they lost it on the way. It was then possibly a path of uncertainty and darkness. But these wise men never gave up. They did not abandon their journey in the face of obvious obstacles on the way. In the absence of any clear guideline, they made mistakes ending up in a wrong place. But their persistence took them till the end of the road.
“We do not encounter God because we do not persevere in seeking him. We look for him in certain obvious places and when we do not find him there we give up. We are not willing to take long journeys in unfamiliar territories of our lives. In a world of instant things where we are able to receive instant food and instant clothing, we also look for instant solutions to our spiritual problems. We expect instant peace and instant happiness and then grow very uneasy and impatient in our journey. The feast of the Epiphany says, ‘never give up’.”