For Isaiah’s prophecy didn’t conclude with the coming of the Wise Men, but continues even to this day. For the Lord and His glory continue to rise upon people as His Word is proclaimed, young and old are baptized, and His kingdom grows. Nations are coming to His light as people from every nation and language and culture are hearing of Him and the Spirit works in their hearts and enlightens the darkness there. And hearts still thrill and exult over the forgiveness of sins and the victory over death proclaimed and given here. The Epiphany of our Lord, His revealing, began with the shepherds and the Wise Men, but it hasn’t stopped and it won’t stop - He won’t stop - until He comes again, and sin and death are conquered and abolished once and for all.
When will that day be? It may still lie 7 centuries in the future, as it did when Isaiah spoke his words. Or maybe it will be in 7 minutes. We don’t know. But we don’t need to know. We have our King and His victory, and that’s enough.
This is the mystery now made known to you, as Paul said - the unsearchable riches God has for you in Christ Jesus. Riches not of gold and frankincense, though He may give those, too. But even more, the good news of the life He has for you - that He won for you and gives to you. That the one born King of the Jews is not a Jewish king only, but the King of all nations, of all people, of all who are born and die, that they might be born again and rise from the dead in Him. That they be citizens of a kingdom that will have no end.
So though now it may be hidden, as it was in ages past, it is revealed - epiphanied - to you, by faith. Just as in the days when Isaiah spoke of it, though it remained hidden for centuries.
When Paul spoke of it, though it remained hidden at that time under persecution and imprisonment. And still today, though preached it remains hidden under death. Your death and mine. We preach victory over death yet still die. Christians are being persecuted today too, and beheaded, and get the same sicknesses and diseases as everyone else. And burdens, struggles, trials, troubles - I don’t need to speak to you about them. The King Herods and Caesars of this world see all this and scoff at our message, dispute our claims, and prefer kingdoms that can be seen.
But those Wise Men who took a knee that day knew that here was a King and a kingdom greater than any other, because it was unlike any other. Because it wasn’t in a time and place, but transcended them. They gave gifts, but knew they had received far more than they had given.
So it is for us. Gifts greater than gold, frankincense, and myrrh are here for us, for hidden in water and words and bread and wine are life - the forgiveness of sins and with that the promise of a life that death cannot end. And so we, too, fall down and worship Him by receiving what He brings for us, bending the knee and bowing the head and heart before Him - our mangered King, our crucified King, our risen King.