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Anyone can experience a revelation; Faiths IN OUR CITY WITH PETE PENNANT, CHAIRMAN, COUNCIL OF BLACK-LED CHURCHES, BIRMINGHAM.

REFLECTING on 2012 is so important, as it is vital to recognise the events that have hindered or shaped our progress and brought us to our current position in 2013.

Each year marks the passing of many great men and women who have made a significant impact in the world.

One such was the late Sir Patrick Moore, a passionate amateur astronomer famous for his television programme The Sky At Night, which inspired many people to simply gaze into the night sky by means of a telescope.

Thousands of years ago, astrologers from the East, known to us in the Christmas story as Maji, travelled thousands of miles.

They followed a constellation in the sky to bring gifts to worship a new king, born in Bethlehem.

However, their journey was not just about meeting any king - they experienced a revelation that Jesus Christ was divine: God, in a human form. That encounter is known today as the Epiphany.

It seems to me that we can learn some lessons from the biblical account of the wise men with Baby Jesus in Matthew's Gospel.

They recognised a supernatural sign, they conducted background study regarding it, tenaciously followed the sign to the best of their ability. They made the right choices to gain knowledge, understanding and wisdom from those who had the answers.

Perhaps an epiphany - a sudden realisation or perception of the meaning of the true nature of something - need not be mystical or for a few people only but for everybody.

If we can identify signs around us and decide to go deeper than surface level in search of truth, maybe 2013 can be a year of epiphanies.

Christmas is now traditionally the time for giving presents.

However, over 2,000-plus years later, Jesus is no longer a baby in a manger.

What does it all mean? I believe that just as the Maji travelled and brought their gifts, we can bring the gifts of our lives, our journeys and experiences to Him too and know His presence daily.

Surely it can be Christmas every day? Happy new year.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jan 5, 2013
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