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Want to hear a secret?
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I don't think I've ever heard of anyone saying "no" to the above question. We like knowing the secrets.

We like knowing what is going on. So, Paul says in our text, pay attention. He's revealing a secret. In other words, he's "Epiphany"ing a secret. The season of the church year we're in - Epiphany - is all about God revealing to us what we wouldn't have known otherwise.

And here's the particular secret Paul reveals to us today: God has made us his servants with a purpose. Our purpose is to appreciate this mystery, because it gives hope. Our purpose is to proclaim this mystery because it gives life.

The reason this is such a mystery that needed revealing is because, as Paul said in chapter 2 of Ephesians - we weren't looking like anything God would want to use. There, he said we were... "without Christ...without citizenship...without the promises or the hope of God" - out of the loop. He even called us "dead in our trespasses and sins." That's what sin does to us. It puts us on the outside. It separates us from God. It starts us like the snowball in the avalanche building up momentum and mass in our run away from God as even one sin leads to shame; and pride prevents repentance; and the guilt keeps us from growing in God's word and sacrament, and, when we need God the most, all our inclinations are to run away from him instead of to him. Sin puts us on the outside here, and even worse, as we carry it on, it puts us on the outside forever. If we hold on to our sins, the only place for us is that place defined by the lack of God's presence - hell. So whether your sin was a one-time thing or is a habit - it has the same effect. It puts us on the outside.

So to hear Paul say that God has made us his servants - that's a big deal. In verse 6, he changes all of those "without"s of chapter 2 into "with"s. "This mystery is that through the Gospel the Gentiles (that's me - this is for all people) are heirs together with Israel members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise of Jesus Christ."

God has come for me and you. Let's appreciate that mystery. The child we celebrated in the manger last month is shown to us this month to be the ruler of heaven and earth.

That's why the wise men went to see him. They appreciated the truth that the star revealed - God had come to save. And did they ever react.

That's what happens when we, too, appreciate the truth that God has made us his. We react.

The wise men wouldn't miss the chance to go and be in the presence of God, to learn more about him, to experience him, to fall on their faces and worship him.

We don't have to travel nearly as far for those very same things. Why would we ever miss a chance to worship God?! Don't. It doesn't make any sense. Instead, resolve to be in God's word in Bible study and worship all year long.

And that appreciation doesn't stop there. The wise men appreciated what this child meant for all of their guilt and shame - it was gone. They appreciated what Jesus meant for their purpose in life - it was him.

So they couldn't help but bring him their best. Think about their gifts; think about how we do the same thing when we see what Jesus means for us. They brought gold and incense and myrrh. So do we.

Gold was currency for them - cash, the best a businessperson could bring, just like you bring your faithful and sacrificial percentage of your income. Incense was that valuable sweet-smelling smoke of worship and prayer, just like you bring your lives of worship - coming faithfully to bow at his altar and give him glory as your first priority. Myrrh was that perfume of humanity, used to prepare bodies for burial. Myrrh was used to prepare Jesus' body when he had given his life for ours that we might give our lives for him - in our worshipping, walking, and witnessing for him

You see, that's what it means that God has made us his servants. He has done everything for us, which naturally makes us want to bring everything for him.

The star has revealed to you the same mystery that God loves you. Now, be a magi (wise man) and come and find out more and worship him!