Today’s scripture: Matthew 2:1-12
Story & traditions around wise men & their seeking the Christ child. The wise men are exotic characters, perhaps astrologers who watched the stars, interpreted heavenly signs. Their journey of faith invites us to make a significant spiritual journey to Christmas & offer the gift of Christ to our world. The idea that they came from foreign lands recognizes this child will be a deliverer for all nations and all people.
There’s been renewed interest in wise men through a recently published document: The Revelation of the Magi, a fascinating apocryphal writing from the late 2nd century. Wise men listen to God and help to save young Jesus’ life. They offer their worship of the young Christ and bring precious gifts. They show us how to make a spiritual journey that is attentive and responsive to God in this Christmas season.
God’s response and help when we are faced with much fear. This is a tale of 2 kings. Our scripture shows two possible responses to Jesus’ arrival: welcome reception and a fearful rejection. Herod’s insecurity and slaughter of the young children tells us Jesus was a challenge to all earthly powers, from the very beginning of his young life. God gives us hopeful courage and help to face and challenge fear and threatening people and forces in life.
This journey to Bethlehem is one we would all make, the search for what is real, authentic in faith that compels us to find & know God. Wise men learn to trust the light God brings & follow it. We can too. Nothing is the same for those who meet Christ. The wise men don’t return home by the old road -God takes them on another path. God helps us to discover another path in life that allows us to know God more fully.