This week we celebrate Epiphany. In the Church Year, it is the Feast of the Kings, or the commemoration of the magi coming to the child Jesus. 

Epiphany means a sudden striking understanding of something. We usually think of the magi, people from faraway lands, as the ones who have this striking understanding of who Jesus is. But really, their understanding was not sudden. The story goes that they had studied stars for a long time, and had journeyed for a long time, to arrive at Herod's place and ask for directions. The one who had a sudden striking of understanding was Herod! And his first reaction, which he acted upon vilely, was fear. He feared the power threat of something/someone new. He had a sudden striking understanding that a child of hope and promise would be the undoing of someone like him. 

The thing to understand is that peace and hope stand opposite fear. And the first word of heavenly messengers was usually “Do not be afraid!”. So this Friday, Epiphany, find a way to stand against fear, to stand for peace and hope.