about writing and life and God

Which way are you going?

on January 5, 2013

It’s Epiphany tomorrow when we remember the Three Wise Men.

Or not so wise?

They went first to dear old trustworthy Herod. Just the person you’d ask for directions to a competitor king! Though you have to give them brownie points for asking for directions. I’m reliably informed this is not normal male behaviour.

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Then the gifts they brought. Not exactly on every young Mum’s wish list for a new baby: gold and myrrh and frankincense.

But again, you have to give them credit for going back a different way and not nipping back and telling Herod all. (Not that that stopped him slaughtering all the local infants. Nice man, King Herod.)

Melchior, Balthazar and Caspar. Kings. Magi. Zoroastrian priests and astrologers. Did one of them look a little bit like Russell Grant?

I wonder what they were expecting to find?

First clue is Herod’s palace. Kings tend to live in palaces. Earthly ones, that is. Surrounded by wealth and flunkies. All the trappings of human power.

Instead they got somewhere poor, and just a girl and a baby.

What I find totally fascinating is what told them they’d come to the right place? What was it about the young child and his mother that got them to bow down and worship him?

Matthew doesn’t tell us. He just records that they did (Matthew 2:1-12). And then they opened up their treasures and presented them to the child, and then took themselves home again ‘by another route’.

Something very special must have happened to convince these scholars/kings/Magi/wise men. In their lives they had probably seen a lot – including Herod and all his pomp and show. But at sight of the child Jesus and his mother, they bow and worship. No muttering or discussing or disputing or arguing. Just down on their knees. Bow. Worship.

Who is wise in our world? Who considers wisdom consists of dropping worldly pride and getting down on your knees to worship this amazing child?

And then who, getting up, sets off ‘by another route’?

Do we, who gladly welcomed the baby Jesus at Christmas, just pick up the tired old threads of our daily lives once more, pack the decorations away, put the cards in the box for recycling, and heigh-ho, off we go again – same old, same old?

Or will we allow ourselves to be touched by the encounter with the Christ-child, so we turn and step into the new year ‘by another route’?



2 responses to “Which way are you going?

  1. Hilary says:

    Some times it seems harder than others to see ‘the way ahead’ that is why we need to put our hand in the hand of God and trust that he will guide us when we are perplexed.

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