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By Rev. Canon Val Kenyon

Have you ever had an unexpected guest drop over? 

Most of us have, perhaps someone was just passing by, or found themselves unexpectedly in your area and thought they’d drop in.  Sometimes these visits can be quite delightful, and other times quite challenging given whatever was on our schedule for the day. 

For many of us, we were taught as children, that if you are visiting someone, announced or especially unannounced, don’t go empty handed.  A good house guest begins their visit by presenting the host with an appropriate gift of thanks.

The season of Epiphany begins with three rather spectacular guests who even though it is true they just ‘dropped in’ unannounced, they certainly did bring some lovely gifts with them. Out of the blue, these three exotic, gift-bearing, star studying seekers, arrived at the doorstep of Mary and Joseph, no doubt only adding to the wonder of this child entrusted to them, likely fueling far more questions than answers. 

And what about this star?  What did they see when they looked up into the sky? 

In Medieval times writers used to believe that it was not a star at all in the usual sense, but rather a bright angel placed there by God to guide and direct them to the child and his family.  However, whether an actual star, some other celestial formation, or an actual angel, the intent was clear.  The spotlight was to be upon this child.  For it is at Epiphany that we are reminded that God, who so loved the world, gave us His Son for all of the world as represented by these three from other lands, and from other traditions. 

It was as true for the kings then as it is for us now, allowing the light of the wonder of this miracle of God’s gift to us to penetrate to the deeper places of our lives and of our hearts, our life will never be the same.

Encounters with Jesus, if we are bold enough to allow this light to touch our hearts, if we allow the wonder of the star, and of the events we have been reminded of over the Christmas season to really penetrate our consciousness, we will never be the same.

Like the kings we will leave the encounter by a different route, changed, allowing to unfold before us, new maps to whatever is next, with a new confidence to leave the old behind and opening in a new way to God’s leading and directing.

At the core of our faith is transformation, and if we allow it, the light of new understanding will change us, and not just once, but repeatedly. If we are wise, we will make a habit of returning to the light, to inspire and heal us, to comfort, assure and direct us. In a very real sense this is what we strive to do each week as we gather for our EfM sessions, following the light of God’s Spirit, into adventures great and small. Interested in learning more about Education for Ministry or in arranging an information session that works for you or your parish? We are just a phone call or an email away. Please contact Libi Clifford, the Diocese of Huron EfM Coordinator or me Val Kenyon at

Rev. Canon Dr. Val Kenyon is EFM Animator in Huron.