January 6 is the Epiphany of the Lord, and this year it fell on a Sunday, so we were able talk about the Epiphany and sing “We three kings” on the actual day! This is very exciting for those of us who worship in liturgical churches. But what to talk about? We talked about gifts of course!
Over the years many of my sermon titles have taken the form of a question which, when things go the way I’m hoping, is answered in the sermon. Interestingly, the last two sermon titles have been intentionally ambiguous. This Sunday’s title, “God’s gifts” is either a subjective or an objective genitive.* What are we talking about? Gifts given to or possessed by God or gifts given by God? The answer in this case is, yes.
The story in the Gospel according to St. Matthew, what we call the Epiphany, is about both aspects of God’s gifts—the gift of Jesus given to all of us and the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh given to Jesus.
*I’m grateful to my New Testament Greek studies for many things, including exposure to the name for this trick of language.